AN: I know the actor is older but in the show, Nick was born in the 1960s.

Life of Crime

Chapter One: Childhood: Part 1

His life started the same as everyone else's in the working class community, he was born and the only people who knew were his parents and close friends. No newspaper headline, it just happened and that was it; 2nd March 1968 was the day he was born. He was named Nicholas Cotton. Dot named him herself since her husband Charlie left during her pregnancy.

"Oh he's lovely Dot" Ethel Skinner commented as she helped Dot with the pram into Albert Square.

She nodded.

"He is isn't he? May we thank God for him; I'm going to get him christened next week, I already spoke to the vicar; do you mind being his godmother Ethel?" Dot asked as she unlocked her door.

"I would be delighted, Dot" Ethel answered, not even the square was fussed about Nick's birth, not even the absent father.

"Oi, Dot; can you get him christened without the father?" Ethel asked.

"Of cause...my father didn't turn up for my christening so I doubt it would matter now" Dot told her.

She took Nick out of his pram into the living room, she loved and doted on him from the start. He could do no wrong in her eyes. He was still asleep, he was born a healthy boy; 7lb 8oz. Still hasn't woken up.

"I'm sure Charlie will come back when he's knows that he has a son" Ethel told her. "I wouldn't bet on it" Dot replied without much hope.

Just as Dot got relaxed on the couch; a window being smashed next door was heard which resulted in Nick waking up and crying. Ethel shook her head as she looked out the window to see who it was. She saw a young Den Watts climbing in the house.

"It's a man...he's climbing into the next door's house; we ought to get the police Dot"

Dot looked quite startled, it could have easily have been her house and then what to do then? She still held a tight grip onto a crying Nick as she walked over towards her house telephone and rang the police.

...

Today would be the first day that the rest of the square would actually meet Nick as Dot pushed him in her pram towards the launderette. Den did get arrested last night, he was swearing vengeance on Dot and Ethel; it did frighten Dot however the police informed her that it was just talk. It didn't stop her worrying though, she has Nick now and cannot exactly take any threat lightly.

"Dot, is that the new baby?" Angie asked, giving her a fright; speaking to Den's wife is the last thing she wants.

"Yes, yes it is, look I don't want no trouble Angie but what did you expect me to do? He could have broken into my house and then what?"

"No Dot, I understand; I just wanted to say that we have no quarrel and you don't have to worry about Den; he was just angry, didn't mean what he said"

"Is that is then? I don't want nobody poisoning Nick's mind; he is the only one untarnished around here" Dot declared as she unlocked the launderette.

"Alright Dot, I just wanted to reassure you so you're not up the half the night worrying; though I suppose you are already up half the night" Angie was cut of by Dot "Nick was perfect all night, thank you very much" Dot corrected her.

"Alright Dot, just remember what I said" Angie replied before leaving her to do whatever she does all day.

Dot lifted Nick out of his pram again; she had no maternity leave. Thought it was pointless, her mother never had it so she doesn't want it. He was her little angel, the door opened again.

This time it was her very close friend Lou Beale; she was the mother of Pete Beale and the grandmother of Ian Beale.

"Oh I'm glad that I finally caught you, let me see the little one then" Lou said with a grin on her face.

"He's been as good as gold he has; go on, hold on him for a bit; I'm going to have a fag" Dot told her as she passed Nick over.

Lou nodded as she held him in her arms, she remembers when her children were that age. It was a long time ago, mind.

"So what have you named him then? Something from the bible I suspect" Lou correctly guessed.

"Yes as it happens, Nicholas; he can't go wrong with a name like that" Dot insisted..."Lou, would you like to come to his christening next week? You can bring Pete if you would like" Dot asked.

"Of cause Dot" Lou replied while rocking Nick in her arms, this action made Dot quickly put her cigarette down, taking Nick back.

"Sorry Lou, he might get confused to who his mother is that way; he's only a newborn" Dot informed her, already she was very protective of him.

"That's fine Dot; have you heard any news from Charlie yet?" Lou asked..."No I haven't and I don't expect I will, last I heard he was in Liverpool" Dot answered.

"Oh, well at least you have Nick eh? He give you plenty of company in the meantime" Lou commented.

The launderette door opened again as Reg Cox walked in with a load of washing, little did he know he the baby in the room would turn into the man who would later murder him. He grunted.

"What was that Reg?" Lou asked, he shook his head; he had nothing to say to these people. He lived alone and spoke to only a few.

He went over to the washing machine, placing his filthy clothes in them; he only comes once a month. Dot could hardly get a word out of him half the time these days, she barely knew him as a child and barely knows him now.

"Alright Reg?" Lou asked, trying to make a conservation with him; he just gave a nod.

He still wore his war medals, only thing people knew about him was that he fought in the war. Which makes what Nick did in the future even worst though none of them knew it just now.

"It's quite faulty, might have to knock it a few times" Dot told Reg as she walked over with Nick sleeping in her arms.

He grunted some nonsense again before attempting to kick the washing machine; he was very annoyed..."Silly thing" Reg muttered under his breath, he gave a quick glimpse at Nick.

Dot instantly got the wrong idea... "He's not a silly thing, he's only a baby I have you know; innocent" Dot commented.."This" Reg spoke with frustration as he pointed towards the washing machine.

"Oh right, well I never was one to catch on" Dot insisted..."Reg, would you like to come to Nick's christening? You can be a godfather"..."I suppose" Reg replied.

Lou looked over, godfather? She hardly knows him..."You hardly know him though Dot" Lou reminded her.

"Yes well I need a godfather and I cannot think of anybody else; besides he agreed to do it now and he will; won't you?" Dot asked..."Yes"Reg muttered under his breath.

...

It was the day of the christening and everyone couldn't be more happy the day was here, perhaps Dot will finally stop talking about it? Though they were happy for her in general, at least she has a son now while her husband is off doing whatever it is he does. Quite a few people were coming, Lou Beale and her son Pete for one. Ethel Skinner and Reg Cox as the godparents. Pauline Fowler with her only son Mark. A notable absence was Den Watts, he is still in prison. It was a pleasant enough day, not raining. For the first and only time, everyone came to wish both mother and son well. They all walked in the church with a smile on their faces though they still don't understand why Dot chose Reg as godfather; suppose she feels sorry for him.

"Thank you for coming, it means a lot to me; I'm very grateful" Dot told them all as she came in from the back with a sleeping Nick.

"He's always sleeping, that baby" Pauline commented with a laugh as she sat besides her husband Arthur.

"A bit like it's godfather" Arthur whispered in her ear, making her laugh and nod with agreement.

The vicar was still at the door as he welcomed in more guests, the doctor Harold Legg and Tony Carpenter with his wife Hannah. He gathered that was it and shut the door over, returning to the font.

...

"Oh Nick was as good as gold wasn't he? Well, I do thank you all for coming but I must be of, a pub's no place for a baby" Dot insisted much to everyone's amusement..."Bye Dot" what heard as she made her way out.

The christening went well; Dot was very pleased but now it's over. Her precious Nick wouldn't be the center until his 1st birthday. He was still sleeping, that was the thing he did most. He was a quiet baby, every mother's dream.