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fanfic: Three Years - Part 9: The Illusion of Control - athene
deinonychus_1
deinonychus_1
fanfic: Three Years - Part 9: The Illusion of Control

Series: Three Years, part 9

Title: The Illusion of Control

Author: Athene

Fandom: Primeval

Characters/pairing: Ryan/Connor

Rating: 18

Warnings: AU, language.

Spoilers: Anything through to episode 1.6

Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.

Word count: approx 4300

Summary: Out of the Jurassic frying pan, into the fire…

Links to previous chapters in the Five Days/Three Years series can be found here
 

 

           Fuck

            Ryan ducked back into the thick undergrowth as the two soldiers jogged round the edge of the brambles towards him. There wasn’t time to make a run for it, the soldiers would see them. He glanced back the way they had come, but there were already the sounds of voices cutting off their retreat.

            He glanced at Connor. The kid was staring at his blood covered hands and shaking so hard there was a fine shower of rain coming off his soaking hair and clothes. Ryan knew he couldn’t expect any help from him right now.

            The soldiers were almost level with him, and Ryan gripped his pistol, and swiped the rain out of his face. But the truth was he didn’t want to fight them. Quite apart from the fact that this time he really was hopelessly outnumbered, he didn’t want to have to shoot any of these men, especially the lads who used to be in his squad. He started to wonder what his chances were of a peaceful surrender, or if Thomson or Harper would just shoot him anyway.

            Without warning, Connor threw up again. The sound was loud enough that the soldiers stopped, looked round, and saw them. Ryan’s gaze locked with Robinson’s, and the two men stared at each other.

            Robinson was still looking right at Ryan when he spoke into his radio.

            “No sign of him here, Sir. He must have doubled back.”

            Ryan barely dared to breathe. Robinson glanced at Lewis, and after a second of hesitation the younger man nodded.

            “We’ll keep this side covered, make sure he doesn’t come out,” Robinson spoke into the radio again, and he indicated Lewis to carry on ahead. Robinson then turned around and headed back the way they had come. Both soldiers were very obviously looking the other way when Ryan got a tight hold of Connor and made a run for it.

            Connor made no sign of protest or resistance as Ryan pulled him, slipping and sliding on the sodden ground, down the hill and out of the woods. The car was still there, and Ryan dumped both their rucksacks into the back seat and pushed Connor into the passenger side. He noticed as he set off that Connor hadn’t put his seatbelt on. Rather than argue, Ryan just reached across and did it for him.

            “Are you hurt?”

            Because clearly ‘are you okay?’ was a ridiculous question right then.

            No answer.

            Fuck, are we back to this again? Ryan thought.

            “Connor, are you hurt?” he asked more forcefully.

            “No.”

            Ryan wasn’t entirely certain he trusted the answer even when he got it, and he did a quick visual check himself. Apart from Abby’s blood on Connor’s hands, there didn’t seem to be any obvious signs of injury.

            Abby. Shit, why did it have to be Abby? Ryan had feared the worst when he heard the gunshots. He felt a moment of guilt when he realised that his initial reaction had been relief that it wasn’t Connor.

He knew as soon as he’d seen her that Abby was already dead. He had seen enough gunshot wounds to know when one was immediately fatal, and when it was worth trying to get someone to a medic. Given where the blood was, the bullet had almost certainly hit her heart or lungs, and even if Tait had been around Ryan doubted it would have made a difference. At least it had been quick, she had probably died in seconds. He knew, however, that none of this was going to be any consolation to Connor, because she was still dead, and it was still his fault.

            “They were trying to shoot me,” Connor said suddenly.

            His voice was an object lesson in bewildered shock.

How can he still sound so fucking surprised by that? Ryan thought. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t had ample warning of what would happen if he got seen.

“They were trying to shoot me, and they shot her instead.”

            Ryan hadn’t been close enough to see exactly what happened, but that statement pretty much confirmed what he had suspected.

            Connor clenched his fists and glared out of the windscreen, refusing to meet Ryan’s eyes. “Go on, say it,” Connor challenged, his voice suddenly harsh and angry. “Say ‘I told you so’.”

            God, how much of a heartless bastard do you think I am? Ryan might have been thinking ‘I told you so’, but there was no way he was going to say it out loud, not now.

            “You’re right, though,” Connor said. “It’s my fault. I killed her.”

            “No.” Ryan hadn’t been prepared for how quickly Connor had turned the blame onto himself.

            “I killed her.”

            “Were you the one holding the gun? Did you shoot Abby?” Ryan snapped.

            “No, but-”

            “Then you didn’t kill her,” Ryan cut him off before he could start to rationalise too far.

            Connor didn’t say anything, and Ryan wondered what the hell was going through the young man’s mind. He may not have killed Abby, but Ryan was almost certain that Connor was the one who had got Abby killed. He also suspected that was a subtle distinction that Connor probably wouldn’t appreciate in his current psychological state.

            They drove in silence for a while. Ryan had been fully intending to really lay into Connor about the whole disobeying orders and running off business, but was there really any point now? Abby’s death had probably achieved in a few seconds what he could never achieve in a week of yelling and arguing. That didn’t mean he wasn’t still angry, he was, but he also knew that Connor was suffering enough without that as well, and Ryan had no intention of making this any worse for him than it already was. 

            “We’re running again, aren’t we?” Connor’s voice was unreadable

            “Yes.”

            “Abby’s dead. Helen and Stephen have been taken. All hell’s broken loose, and we’re just running away.”

            “Yes.”

            Don’t start this, Connor, please don’t start this now, Ryan thought. Like when they were leaving London, he only wanted to put distance between them and this place so that he would have the time and space to deal with Connor and work out what they were going to do next. What he didn’t need right now was a blazing row here in the car.    

            “Same as bloody always,” Connor muttered, and turned to stare out of the window.

            “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Ryan couldn’t stop himself from snapping back.

            Connor didn’t reply. He dragged his fingers through his sopping hair, trying to control it in some way, or at least just get it out of his face. When Ryan looked at him again, there was a smear of blood on his face where his hand had wiped.

            Neither of them spoke again for a long time. Ryan turned the air conditioning on and set it to as hot as it would go. They were both utterly drenched, and he knew the air-con wasn’t going to put a dent in that, but they may as well be warm and wet instead of cold and wet. He headed deeper into the countryside, looking out for somewhere suitable to stop and change into dry clothes. Deal with the practical stuff, the easy stuff, first. Ryan was beginning to wonder how much longer he could deal with all the other stuff as well. The more unhappy Connor got with their situation, the more he seemed to be fighting against Ryan, and that was only going to make everything so much harder.

Ryan had thought Connor was strong, tougher than he looked, certainly tough enough to deal with this, and intelligent enough to understand the severity of the situation. Now he was starting to wonder if he had overestimated the young man. What if Connor couldn’t cope? Ryan had meant it when he told Connor he didn’t want to lose him. He would almost certainly never admit it out loud, but having Connor along with him in the Jurassic, and for the last few days, had made everything so much more bearable. But there was a world of difference between a partnership with a strong, independent Connor, and being stuck with a wreck who needed constant care and supervision.

Give the guy a break, Ryan told himself. One of his closest friends has just died, been killed, right in front of him. Of course he’s going to be a mess. He was like this after the business in London and he got over it. With time, he’ll get over this as well.   

            Yet more and more questions were forcing themselves to the front of his mind, demanding to be answered. What if Connor hadn’t got over being tortured? What if he’d only buried it? What if he really couldn’t deal with any of this? Where would that leave either of them? Ryan realised he didn’t have the answers, and for the first time since they had left London he started to consider the possibility that they actually might not survive this together.

Ryan eventually spotted somewhere that looked useful, and made sure there were no other cars on the road when he turned up a broken, pitted track to what was clearly an abandoned farm cottage and its associated buildings. A large part of the roof had collapsed on the cottage itself, and Ryan parked the car under cover in what used to be a large brick barn. It was still pouring down outside, and the barn appeared to be the only building left with an entirely intact roof.

“We should stay here for a few hours, maybe even overnight. If the rain carries on like this the tent’ll be more hassle than it’s worth.”

“Whatever,” Connor said.

Ryan forced himself to stay quiet and just give him time.

“We should get changed into something dry. Try to keep warm.”

Connor shrugged, but opened the car door and got out. Ryan got out as well, and dragged both their rucksacks out from the backseat. By the time he looked up, Connor was already walking away, completely ignoring his bag.

“Connor? What are you doing?” Ryan tried to keep his voice neutral, but didn’t think he managed to entirely disguise the impatience.

“Apparently, nothing.”

What the hell was that supposed to mean?

“Come on, mate. Get yourself cleaned up and dry.”

Connor suddenly spun round and Ryan saw the fury in the young man’s face.

“Stop it! Stop being so practical. Stop being so fucking reasonable,” Connor shouted at him.

“One of us has to be,” Ryan snapped back.

“Yeah, because you’re such a great leader. You’re doing such a great job of this, aren’t you?”

“What?” Ryan hadn’t expected this.

“Look at us, Ryan. What the hell are we doing? Where are we going? You don’t have a plan. All we’ve been doing since we left London is running. Aimlessly.”

“I needed time to think. Have you got a better idea?”

“Yes. I’ve had loads of better ideas. You won’t listen to any of them.”

“I always listen.”

“Yeah, and then you ignore them. You ignore me. You’re happy enough to have me along as your fuck-buddy, but you don’t want to listen to what I’ve got to contribute.”

“That’s not true and you know it.” Fuck-buddy? Christ, was that really what Connor thought their relationship was about, or was that just his anger talking?

“Yeah, whatever you think, Ryan, same as always.” Connor’s words were soaked in bitterness.

“Because your plan worked so fucking well today, didn’t it?”

Ryan regretted the words as soon as he said them. Connor’s hands clenched into fists, and he closed his eyes.

“That’s the first honest thing you’ve said to me in the last hour.”

“Connor, I didn’t mean-”         

“Yes, you did,” Connor interrupted. “And you’re right. I killed her.”

“Your being there may have got her killed, yes, but it’s not the same thing. You didn’t kill Abby.” Please, Connor, please understand the difference, Ryan begged silently.

When Connor opened his eyes they were full of desperation.

“I was trying to help them. I only wanted to warn them.”

“I know.” Ryan slowly moved towards Connor. “Maybe you were right. Perhaps if I’d gone with you, we could have… I don’t know. Maybe we both screwed up.”

Connor shook his head, and wrapped his arms around his chest.

“Connor, listen to me.” Ryan tried very hard to keep his voice calm. “If it’s seemed like I wasn’t listening, or that I was ordering you around, that wasn’t what I meant to do. I just… I’m trying to protect you. I’m trying to keep both of us alive in the only way I know how.”

“I don’t need your protection.”

“Yes, you do.” Today had more than proved that point. “When we’re not under pressure then we can talk, argue, disagree all you want. But if we’re in a dangerous situation and I tell you to do something, I need you to do it, whether you agree with me or not. Because otherwise, things like this happen, and... and,” Ryan ran a hand through his hair, trying to find the right words. “Shit, Connor, when I heard the gunshots and the shouting, I thought it was you. I thought they might have killed you. I don’t want to go through that again.”

“I can’t do this any more, Ryan.” Connor’s voice was so quiet Ryan almost didn’t hear him.

“Just give it time.”

“No.” Connor looked up, and there was anger in his eyes again. “I can’t do this any more. I can’t live like this.” He waved his arm in an all encompassing gesture that took in the rucksacks, the stolen car, the barn.

“I don’t like it either, but we don’t have a choice right now.”

“I want my life back. I want to go home. I want Abb-” he stopped, his expression full of desperation and pleading.

Before Ryan could say anything, Connor suddenly turned and kicked the brick wall of the barn. One kick turned into another, and suddenly he was pounding the shit out of the wall, little clouds of brick dust spraying out with every blow. Ryan didn’t move until he saw Connor’s hand becoming a fist. He reacted instantly, and wrapped his arms around Connor, pulling him away from the wall before he could hit it.

“Don’t. Please Connor, stop trying to hurt yourself.” It wasn’t an order, it was a quiet, desperate plea.

Ryan almost expected another fight. This was what had happened the day they left London all over again. But Connor became still in his arms, his heavy, ragged breathing the only sign of his raging emotional state.

Come on mate, get it out of your system, Ryan thought. Break down. Cry. Grieve. I’m here, I’ll help you as soon as I know you’re starting to deal with it. Just give me something that I can work with.

“I’m sorry about Abby,” Ryan said in a very quiet voice. “I really am so sorry.”

He tugged Connor closer, tried to turn the hold into a hug. Connor didn’t respond, didn’t try to return the hug or even acknowledge it.

“I’m going to kill the bastards who did this,” Connor suddenly said in a cold, determined voice that sent ice through every inch of Ryan’s body.  

No you’re not, Ryan thought, but he didn’t say anything out loud. If there was one thing he was certain of, it was that Connor Temple wasn’t a killer. Ryan had a very strong protective urge to make sure he stayed that way.

He felt Connor breathe deeply, and then a shudder rippled though his body. He finally leaned a little against Ryan’s shoulder, and a single tear escape from his closed eyes.

Please don’t break on me, was the only thing Ryan could think as he held Connor close.


 

 It was instinct rather than a conscious thought that suddenly had Ryan awake and staring into the darkness.

Connor wasn’t lying next to him any more. Ryan assessed the situation for another two seconds, detected no immediately obvious threat, and sat up.

It was dark, the rain was still hammering on the corrugated roof and splashing in the mud outside the open front of the barn. A soft light over the other side illuminated the inside of the car, where Connor was sitting in the front seat. Ryan got up and walked over to him.

“Connor?”

“I’ve been thinking.” Connor didn’t even look at Ryan when he spoke. He appeared to be concentrating on a page of scribbled writing that rested on his knee.

It’s nearly three in the morning, Ryan thought. Out loud he said, “What about?”

“I’ve got a plan.”

“What?”

“I can fix all of this.”

“What?” Ryan couldn’t disguise the confusion in his voice.

“We’re going to change time so that none of this happened. Happens. Whatever the tense is.”

What?

“We’re going to go back to 2007 and change time so that none of this happens like it has done.” Connor finally glanced up at Ryan, and his voice was almost offhand, dismissive when he added, “Don’t say ‘what’ again, Ryan, it makes you sound like an idiot.”

Another ‘what’ died on Ryan’s lips. He struggled to find something that he could say, because either Connor was talking about something really obvious and he was being an idiot, or else the young man had completely lost it.

“I thought you said we couldn’t change history?” Ryan finally asked. They had talked about this on their first day in 2010, and that was what they had decided, right?

“I said we shouldn’t change history. It’s not the same thing.”

No, Ryan thought. In many ways it’s worse.

Nobody spoke for a while, and Connor went back to scribbling notes. Ryan took a moment to clear his head and wake up properly.

“We can do this. I think we can really do it,” Connor said eventually. He put the notes on the dashboard, and twisted in the seat so that he was sitting sideways, his legs hanging out of the open car door. For the first time he actually appeared to be giving Ryan his full attention. “Everything that has gone wrong is because we came back to the wrong time. If we go back to 2007 then none of this will happen. We can stop it from happening just by being there, by existing in that time. You heard what Abby said, it all started going crazy when this Thomson guy took over from you. If we get home then he’ll never have to replace you, so that won’t happen. And all this stuff with Claudia and Abby’s new bloke, whatshisname? John?”

“Josh.”

“Yeah, him. None of that will happen because we won’t be here so they won’t need to help us escape. Well, actually, this entire timestream of events won’t happen, so we don’t need to worry about that.”

He went on for a while, talking about preventing certain tipping point events, like the big cat in the shopping centre that both Claudia and Abby had mentioned. He talked about taking back knowledge of major anomaly events so that the team would be pre-warned, and better able to deal with it when it happened. He never said it out loud, but the undercurrent to every word out of his mouth was simple: Abby won’t be dead.

Ryan actually understood what Connor was talking about, which some part of his mind found slightly worrying. But that was a tiny concern compared with his sudden fears for Connor’s state of mind. On the day when they had got back from the Jurassic and they had first talked about this temporal physics stuff, Connor had been excited, animated, an enthusiastic font of geeky speculation. There was no sign of that now. His voice and his eyes, normally so full of emotion, held a clinical detachment as he talked through his theories, his ideas about what he referred to as ‘the temporal ramifications of changing time’.

In his line of work, Ryan knew grief. He had seen enough of it, and he knew the various ways it could manifest. He recognised Connor’s need to do something in response to the situation, the need to act in some way just to avoid the feeling of helplessness. It was a reaction he saw all too often in his men when things went badly. With Connor, Ryan had been prepared for tears, he had been prepared for recriminations, and even anger. He sure as hell hadn’t been prepared for this.

He didn’t like it in the slightest.

Ryan waited for Connor to finish talking through all his ideas. He wished it could be as straightforward as Connor made it sound, but he suspected someone needed to play devils advocate here, and since there was no one else around, that job was going to fall to him.

“I want to believe you Connor.” He paused. “No, that’s not what I meant. If you say it can be done then I do believe you. But you said it yourself, just because we can, doesn’t mean that we should.”

“Why not, Ryan? Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t do it.”

“Because…” Ryan struggled to find the words that expressed his unease with the whole scenario. There had been so many occasions in his life when Ryan had wished he could hit a big red button and go back and do it over, but the universe just didn’t work like that. Somehow this felt a little too much like playing god. “Connor, I know you’re upset about what happened to Abby, but we can’t go around changing history just because something terrible happens.”

“Abby died!”

“My men have died,” Ryan snapped back. “Good men who have died working on this bloody project. Why is it different just because it’s Abby?”

Connor stuttered to a halt, and for a moment Ryan saw a flash of something in his eyes, something that looked a lot like guilt. Ryan came closer, crouched in front of Connor and held his hand.

“I know you want to fix things,” he said gently. “I know how much it hurts. I wish it could be as simple as you say it is, but I’m just not convinced this is the best way of dealing with it.”

“It is different because it’s Abby,” Connor said. “I don’t mean that to sound callous, like your men don’t matter. But it is different. Abby died because of us, because we were in the wrong time. If we had got back to 2007, where we were supposed to be, then none of this would have happened. That’s why it’s different. It’s our fault that it happened. That’s why we have to do this. To fix it.”

Ryan closed his eyes for a moment. This wasn’t working, and he just didn’t know what might work any more. He wished he possessed a fraction of Connor’s eloquence, because he had no idea what words to use that would bring the young man back from this. Although, if he was really being honest, in some tiny part of his mind he wasn’t sure he really did want to talk Connor out of it.

“If it helps, don’t think of it as changing time,” Connor said. His voice was soft, persuasive. “All we’re doing is going home. All the changes would just be a side effect of that. That’s what you wanted, right? You were the one who first asked if there was an anomaly that would get us home.”

Despite his unease, Ryan wanted to believe it. He wanted to be convinced that it was not only possible, but that it was right. Because he wanted to go home just as much as Connor did. But he knew that Connor wasn’t being truthful about his intentions. If it really was just about going home, then he wouldn’t be talking about deliberately trying to change the way events played out over the previous three years. Going home was one thing; going home with information of the exact time and location of impending anomalies was something entirely different.

“I don’t know, Connor. It just doesn’t seem right.”

“Ryan, we have the opportunity to save lives. To protect people. We both want the same thing here, Ryan. We just have different ways of doing it. This is my way. But I need your help.”

Ryan knew he was being manipulated. He also knew it was working. 

“Connor, even if we wanted to go back, how? How would we do it? How would we find the right anomaly?”

Connor hesitated, and the first flicker of uncertainty crossed his face.

“I haven’t quite worked that bit out yet,” he admitted. “I think I need Cutter. When I heard them talking in the woods it sounded like Cutter had managed to predict the time and location of an anomaly. He has three years worth of research and knowledge that I don’t have access to. If we can get him to help us, we can figure it out. I can figure it out.”

Ryan’s legs were starting to ache from crouching and he stood up, stretched, and leaned against the side of the car. He felt a smile start to form as he realised the obvious fact that Connor had missed.

“We don’t need Cutter. At least, not that Cutter.” He hesitated. “I can’t believe I’m actually about to say this. If we’re seriously talking about going back in time, I think we need to jailbreak Helen Cutter.”

 

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Comments
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: February 21st, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jailbreaking Helen? That's either going to be a really good idea, or the worst possible idea in the history of the world... *g*

Once again, great interaction between the boys, with both their reactions to events playing out perfectly. I did start off thinking that Ryan was being a bit of a cold and heartless bastard (after all, Abby had just died), but then I realised that he was reacting exactly how a soldier would - he doesn't know how to to do it any other way. Actually in some ways it struck me as quite Helen-like attitude. But don't tell Ryan I said that! *looks around for places to hides from the angry Special Forces man*

But determined!persuasive!manipulative!Connor is a little bit scary... *meeps*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 21st, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Glad you liked the interactions, after what you commented last time about them arguing I thought of you when they were having an even bigger bust-up here. I had a bit of a giggle at your comment about Ryan being cold and heartless - I'd been worried that he was going too soft with Connor lately! And he was quite restrained really, considering that Connor just got Abby killed, and very nearly got both of them caught and/or killed as well. Getting Ryan's reaction right was a balancing act between the fact that he cares about Connor a lot, and the fact that he's a soldier in a stressful situation and Connor just fucked up big time.

*wonders if it's actually Helen that you need to be more scared of after that comparison?*

"But determined!persuasive!manipulative!Connor is a little bit scary..."

Oh, yes. And fun to write. And I figure, if Ryan really loses it, he probably just lashes out and hits something. When Connor really loses it, well, he's not a violent person, but he is a very inteligent person, so his reactions have the potential to be so, so much more scary...
onigaminanashi From: onigaminanashi Date: February 22nd, 2008 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
The only reason they should jailbreak Helen is so I can shank her. But that's something that's done even better in jail. I do not like this idea, I do not like green eggs and ham Sam I am (not).

I'm sorry about your week/job/sucktastic couple of days... *offers cookies* but thank you for the fic! I was very excited to see the new part up.

Connor... He's making me sad and worried. And Ryan, as always, is making me happy in my pants. Can I say that? Anyway... *shifty look*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 22nd, 2008 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
*mmmm... cookies* Thankyou. I'm definitely getting a mixed response on the jailbreak idea here. *is slightly worried about the plot now*

Good to know you're still enjoying Ryan, even if Connor is being a bit wierd right now. Actually, 'worried' is a good response to Connor's latest actions, so that actually makes me happy, I guess it means I'm getting the character's emotional state at least partly right.
adafrog From: adafrog Date: February 22nd, 2008 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
hmm...I like the idea of getting Helen Cutter out. Although I wonder what she'll get out of it (and we all know the jailbreak doesn't count. ;)
Connor is still quite annoying. I can see what he's doing, but I just want to slap the shit out of him. Poor Ryan, doing his best. But at least they're thinking about working together now. A little. lol
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 22nd, 2008 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, exactly. Getting Helen out of wherever she's being held is no guarantee that she will help them to change three years worth of history.

Meep, sorry you're not liking Connor in the last few chapters. As you say, Ryan is doing his best, but there's only so much he can do if Connor has stopped listening to him.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: February 22nd, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can quite see why Ryan wants to jailbreak the Evil Cleavage of Doom, and I'm soooooooo curious as to how he's going to try and get info out of her!!!

I think the reactions were good, and yes, I liked the fact that Ryan was basically acting like a soldier, because that's what he is, after all. As he pointed out, he'd lost several of his own men on this project and he'd feel as much for them as Connor did for Abby, so I don't think he's being heartless at all.

I'm totally wrapped up in this fic and for the life of me I can't guess how you're going to take it forward or wrap it up, which is great!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 23rd, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm glad you liked how Ryan was reacting. As I mentioned to Telperion, I've been a little worried about how Ryan is acting in the last few chapters, and trying to balance his reactions as a soldier against his feelings as Connor's lover. I've known for a long time where I was intending to take Connor with this series, but my plans for Ryan were a little more vague, so sometimes when I've been writing he's been surprising me as well with what he's saying and doing.

Thw worrying thing right now is that *I'm* not sure exactly how I'm going to take it forward either. Chapter 10 has just had about four re-plans in the last fortnight, and I think the series finale canon is about to stomp my idea (again - I was annoyed enough about Abby's fake death in episode 4) so I've just had a major re-plan of the ending of chapter 10 this week. I think I've settled on what I'm doing now, but I'm going to try writing it this weekend and see what works when i get there. I know exactly how the entire series is going to end, I have the epilogue all sorted. It's just the next couple of chapters for how I get from this point to the end point that are in a state of flux right now.

*runs around panicking and waving arms like an extra in a godzilla film*
steamshovelmama From: steamshovelmama Date: February 22nd, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eeeek! Scary Conner... Yep, I think you've called that right. Determined and ruthless intelligence applied to the situation is going to be so much scarier than just thumping something as an emotional release. Interesting to see there is a point at which Ryan is willing to start following Connor. So far Ryan has been the leader - how far will he accept Conner directing events?

>"He never said it out loud, but the undercurrent to every word out of his mouth was simple: Abby won’t be dead."<

This made me wibble! Oh, the angst... And how will all this affect their personal relationship?

Breaking Helen out of jail. Hmmm, *interesting* idea! Now are either of our boys going to be able to handle Mrs Cutter? Ryan isn't clever enough to control her and Conner doesn't have the experience. Do they have enough together to hold her in check? I look forward to seeing more of your Helen.

This is a great piece of writing. *Really* looking forward to part 10!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 23rd, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I liked your point about Ryan accepting Connor as a leader. There was brief moment where it happened in Five Days when Ryan was injured, but as you say, so far since they got back Ryan has taken the lead. Now, though, it's got to the point where Connor has clearly decided that Ryan's way isn't working, and he's far gone enough that he has just stopped listening.

"Oh, the angst... And how will all this affect their personal relationship?"

Ooooh, you know, I hadn't thought of that. There was throw-away remark in an earlier chapter where Connor was thinking about the fact that he *used* to fancy Abby, but of course Ryan doesn't know what Connor is thinking, and Ryan knows that Connor was clearly interested in Abby before they got lost in the past, and since they got back Connor has been obssessing about getting in touch with her, and now is determinded to break the laws of physics to get her back. So what is Ryan supposed to think about where that leaves him and his relationship with Connor? I really hadn't thought of that when I was writing it. Oh, the angst bunnies have just gone into overdrive, thankyou.
munchkinofdoom From: munchkinofdoom Date: February 22nd, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I think we need to jailbreak Helen Cutter.”

Bloody hell!! You're getting too good at this cliffhanger business. *nods*

But Ryan is right. Damn him. Nick, even with his 3 extra years experience, wouldn't know a fraction of what Helen knows. What Helen remembers from all her temporal trekking. Like a roadmap in her mind.

Not to mention, Helen has more to lose. Far more. Nick, for all that his team is crumbling to dust around him, is still on the in. He still has Lester behind him, trying to protect him. Helen is trapped, and even if she escapes, will be hunted. She has as much to gain, changing the immediate past, as Ryan and Connor do.

Am sooooo glad you managed to post this, after the bugger of a day you had yesterday! *hugs*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 23rd, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cliffhanger? That was the least cliffhangery ending that I've had for about the last four chapters. I realy must try to cut down.

The problem with Helen is, well, it's Helen. There's no love lost between her and Ryan, and while she's had a few interesting discussions with Connor (she did invite him to join her in the past, after all) I suspect they're going to need some form of leverage to get her to help them.

I was saying to Fred, I'm having plot angst right now, and a bit of a last minute panic, which is what happened when I was writing the last two chapters of 5D as well, so I'm just hoping this turns out the same and the last minute re-plan works better than the original idea that I've had panned for months.
bigtitch From: bigtitch Date: February 22nd, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm loving this so much. But time-travel is so difficult, I don't care how many times Connor has watched Doctor Who. I just know you're going to put them through the wringer a bit more.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 23rd, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, glad you're enjoyig it.

The time travel paradox thing is making my brain hurt. And I thought the time-paradox conversation in chapter 1 was bad enough!

"I just know you're going to put them through the wringer a bit more."

What? Me? Angst-ridden plot twists?

*attempts to look innocent*
steamshovelmama From: steamshovelmama Date: February 22nd, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I commented I forgt to say: may I friend you? Building my Primeval friends list and would like to have you on it!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 23rd, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, no problem, I've just freinded you. I'm always happy to have more people to have lively discussions with about all things Primeval, and, of course, particularly Connor.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: February 24th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Chronic sleep deprivation means that this feedback will not be particularly thoughtful or intelligent (or possibly even intelligible) but ... I've just spent all evening catching up with this series, and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next chapter. (Although you killed Abby! OMG you killed her!!!1!!eleventy-one!)

I love your characterisations of Connor and Ryan, and how their relationship is developing - very believable.

I think you've just determined what my Primeval OTP will be. Thank you for that :)

Edited at 2008-02-24 01:12 am (UTC)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 24th, 2008 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you've been busy the last couple of days if you've read the entire Five days/Three Years series. And thanks for commenting.

Connor/Ryan being OTP? That's kind of scary. When I first started writing Five Days it wasn't actually meant to be very slashy, and then the idea for the follow-on series happened, and various online friends were prodding for more slash (if you've read the comments then you no doubt know who I'm talking about), so the epic relationship stuff was a bit of an accident. It's quite nice that so many people seem to like it though.

Based on the fic that you've commented on, I'm going to go out of a limb and guess you're a Connor fan? Have you seen Telperion_15's Cutter/Connor series? If not I'd recomend it.

If you're looking for fic, have you found the three main primeval lj communities?

Primeval100 is a drabble challenege comunity:
http://community.livejournal.com/primeval100/

Primeval_fanfic does pretty much what it says on the tin - fic:
http://community.livejournal.com/primeval_fanfic/

Primeval_ITV is the place for icons, discussions, and some fic:
http://community.livejournal.com/primeval_itv/

If there's any particular character or genre that you like, I could try to recomend some writers to look out for, or fic series that might have got lost in the depths of the archives by now.
byrons_brain From: byrons_brain Date: March 2nd, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
::sniffles:: I'm scared now..... please more soon.... this is just fantastic... I can't wait for them to go back...
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: March 2nd, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's okay, you can come out from behind the sofa now. Scary Connor has gone... for now *evil laugh*.

Glad you liked, even if Connor did seem to be turning into the evil genius bad guy of the week.
fififolle From: fififolle Date: April 30th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh! I knew they would have to go back once Abby had died. Because? Because I can't really handle the thought of her dead either, LOL. I can't *wait* to read the conversations with Helen, and will Connor admit to what Helen had asked him? *evilgrin*
Oh, and I want to have Dan Robinson's babies. Is all.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 30th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Oh, and I want to have Dan Robinson's babies."

*snigger* Well, to be fair the guy did owe Ryan after he saved him from the styracosaur in the chapter before last.

I hope the upcoming interaction with Helen doesn;t disappoint.
sethra2000 From: sethra2000 Date: June 17th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Um, I think that "Jailbreaking "The Bitch Queen" TM is just about the worst thing in the history of worst things EVA!... sigh, which means they will huh.

I WILL go to sleep now. *Determined look*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 17th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I WILL go to sleep now. *Determined look*"

Haven't you been saying that for the past three chapters? Glad you're enjoying it, even if it is keeping you up late.
reggietate From: reggietate Date: October 21st, 2008 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I really should be writing VS3 this morning, but...

I am in awe of your plottiness. Wish I could do it so well, and so consistently. The whole Connor meltdown thing and then coming back with that crazy but maybe just workable timey-wimey plan, and Ryan's being Ryan.... brilliant work

Things are really desperate for the boys when one of them is contemplating busting Helen out of jug, though! Off to read the next part :-)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: October 21st, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for that comment, it certainly makes it worth the amount of effort it took to write this monster of a plot. I had most of it planned out right from the start, including Abby's death being the catalyst for Connor deciding that they have to go back and change the timeline, and them getting Helen to help. Basically, the whole of the 5D/3Y series was based on the theme of 'push Connor to absolute breaking point, and beyond, and see what happens'. This was what happened.

I am nasty to the poor boy, but he's so much fun to play with when he's broken. And you kind of have to feel sorry for Ryan, trying to deal with it all and watching Connor falling apart.
sunsets_dinos From: sunsets_dinos Date: July 4th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, btw, after I posted the last comment I realized that I never read the warnings... lol... I could have been prepared for Abby's death... but you see, I knew I'd read this anyway, no matter what you did, so... Oh and I read in one ofthe comments that Connor was a bit OOC stupid, I just want to disagree. Yes, I was shouting at the screen bc who would go back in such a situation?? Well, I firmly believe Connor would. He's the kind of guy who would do anything for his friends even if at the cost of putting himself in danger, and not because he's so brave or heroic but bc he just can't *not* do it. And I think at this point in the story he's been through so much that he got used to the constant feeling of fear and he probably didn't feel it as acutely as at the beginning of their adventure in the past. So I think you captured him brilliantly. I just had to say that.

Ok, on to the next chapter...

EEEEEEEE!! *cuddles Robinson and Lewis*

God, I love how you write Connor. I just had to say that. You always get him so incredibly well. Brilliant. God, I... you know, Connor is in a way right, Ryan doesn't have a plan, which makes me love him more, he's not as brilliant and cunning as he could be. He's great at the practical stuff and he is intelligent in his own right but he's not a mastermind when it comes to planning, I love that. And I love that it's so complicated between them. And I love that Ryan thinks Connor is not a killer, it's true, I'm pretty sure even Abby would sooner kill than Connor, which is why I'm beginning to fall for S3 finale Connor-Helen, god, to push that even farther... my god, so fascinating... damn, I was supposed to ignore S3Ep10...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *cuddles Ryan* EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes save Helen!!!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 4th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *cuddles Ryan* EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes save Helen!!!

LOL! Calm down, woman!

Thanks for the comments about Connor, I agree, it's not that he *wants* to run into danger, but he can't leave people he cares about in danger. It's the same thing that made him go into the forest after Ryan in the Jurassic.

Robinson owed Ryan for saving him from the styracosaur in the previous chapter. I actually suspect that Robinson wouldn't have given Ryan away to Thomson even if Ryan hadn't saved him, but there was a certain karmic balance to it, I think, and it shows the strength of their friendship.

I think Ryan is intelligent - you don't get to be a special forces captain by being an army grunt without a brain - and he would be good at the short term plannig and survival, but at heart he is still a soldier, and he's used to following the plans and orders given to him by other people, not making things up on the fly himself. Connor isn't a strategic planner either, not for this kind of situation, but he now does have a long term plan and Ryan can work within that plan to achieve the goals that Connor can visualise.

And Ryan wanting to stop Connor becoming a killer? That may just come back to haunt them later... *evil grin*

Edited at 2009-07-04 07:22 pm (UTC)
knitekat From: knitekat Date: July 13th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Intense and powerful stuff. Connor's breakdown. His plan on getting back. Breaking Helen out of jail!
Love the interaction between the boys, and how Ryan's men are still loyal to him.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 13th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you like it. Poor Connor is getting to complete breaking point now, but he's got a purpose and a plan, so al that brain power and emotional energy has finally got a direction to channel in. This may or may not be a good thing...
bella_farfalla From: bella_farfalla Date: July 23rd, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay so that willpower thing? Yeah right out the window! In my deference I'm going away camping for a week so I *needed* to read this part now...

The way you you've written Connor greiving (sp?) is so incredibly moving.

YAAAAY Helen to the rescue! Sort of.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 24th, 2009 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Who needs willpower, eh? It's highly over-rated, I think.

I think Connor is still in shock as much as grief at this point. And there's a hefty dose of guilt mixed in there as well for the poor boy.

YAAAAY Helen to the rescue! Sort of.

LOL! They need to rescue Helen first!

Hope you have a nice camping holiday.
jaynedoll From: jaynedoll Date: July 25th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the interaction between Ryan and Connor as they both struggle to deal with each other and how what's happened could change their relationship. I think Connor wanting to change the timeline to save Abby is typical Connor.
and jailbreaking Helen? That can only end in tears *g*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 26th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I was really quite worried about this last few chapters and whether or not people would like them, because the boys are pretty much arguing all the time, and Connor is getting pushed further and further away from what he's like in the series. While he did become a lot harder in s2 and 3, this fic series was pretty much based on the S1 version of Connor, who really didn't look like the kind of guy who could cope with being on the run and living rough like he's been forced to do here.
From: greygoldgreen Date: July 25th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope I was reading it wrong, but it seemed like Ryan was thinking at one point if Connor didn't live up to his expectations then he was going to leave him.

Those two just don't understand each other, do they? Ryan is continually thinking he is under or over estimating Connor and being surprised by everything he does or says and Connor ignores everything Ryan says.

Well at least they have a plan now. Rather dodgy and could all end in tears but a plan nevertheless.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 26th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think Ryan was going to abandon Connor, but he was starting to worry that Connor might break down competely and pretty much become a catatonic wreck, or that *Connor* might be the one who leaves *him* and just disappears because their relationship has fallen apart so much.

They really don't understand each other. It's actually been a fairly short timescale since the start of Five Days - they were in the Jurassic together for less than a week, then being held at the hotel for three or four days where they didn't have the opportunity to talk much because of the suspected bugs, and now they've been on the run together for three days. They barely knew each other before getting trapped in the Jurassic, so really it's only been about a fortnight, and even though they've been through some pretty intense stuff together there are still lots of things they don't know about each other. Hence the misunderstandings and Ryan constantly questioning Connor's ability to deal with things.

hmmm... that turned into a longer, more rambley reply than I'd intended.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: July 26th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
This is actually possibly the scariest chapter so far, with the relationship between Ryan and Connor breaking down in the face of everything they've had to deal with, and then Connor going into icy shutdown mode, which is completely bloody terrifying!

I was really starting to wonder at this point whether this fic was going to have a happy ending. Okay, so they might sort out the timelines, and get back to 2007, and Abby would still be alive, etc. But I was getting that sinking feeling that that Connor/Ryan relationship might not have survived all that...
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 26th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Ryan is wondering the same thing about their relationship at this point it the story. I think it's the next chapter where he's thinking that once they get home Connor won't want him any more because he's just interested in Abby. Ryan's kind of got this constant background nagging fear that Connor isn't really interested in men, and that this is all just an experiment for him. That actually surprised me when I was writing it, because I hadn't expected Ryan to start getting insecure about the relationship, but once that thought popped into his head I ran with it!

Connor in scary determined obsessive mode was quite fun to write once he got that far.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: July 26th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the depiction of the breakdown of their relationship here. It's scary and real and painful.

Seeing Connor pushed up to breaking point here was a great read. Which no doubt makes me a sick puppy!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 27th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I think there was bit of mirroring going on again with Five Days - in 5D part 4 Connor had a mini breakdown and they had a fight, which led to their first kiss, and then set them up for the big action finale. Now almost the same thing has happened again, only this time it was a massive breakdown, they're fighting, and instead of bringing them together it's driving them apart, and setting them up for another action finale. I think I ended up doing quite a lot of mirroring of 5D in this series, some of it consciously, some of it entirely unconsciously and I've only just noticed it now in the re-read!
fififolle From: fififolle Date: July 26th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think maybe I liked it better when I was expecting hugs and puppies, LOL!

Oh wow. I can see again just how crucial Dan was in all this. No *wonder* I fell for the guy. Ryan and Connor were so close to being busted.

The tumbledown cottage scene was incredible, poor bloody Connor and almost-pathetic Ryan. *wibble* Fan-bloody-tastic!!! *vbg*

A great low-point chapter, LOL, and all set up for the action.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: July 27th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
*evil grin* I didn't get my nickname in this fandom by writing hugs and puppies, you know!

Dan did save the day for them this time, didn't he? first Josh, now Dan, Ryan really needs to buy them both a drink when he gets home, even though their past selves won't remember doing any of this!

Hee, I was going for maximum ansgt and breakage in the barn scene (although amybe not as much as in the impending warehouse scene!).
reggietate From: reggietate Date: August 15th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jailbreaking Helen still seems like a bit of a scary plan :-) This chapter is a great contrast to the last, a lovely intense two-hander with lots of angst and breakage. And if anyone can set this fucked-up timeline straight, it's Connor.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: August 16th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
much as I enjoy writing the action and the dinosaurs and the running around scenes, I think some of my favourite bits in this series are the chapters or scenes where it's just Connor and Ryan on their own interacting with each other and having these intense moments that shape their relationship for better or worse. And we do all like the angst *grin*

Edited at 2009-08-16 03:51 pm (UTC)
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: January 31st, 2012 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, so Connors not so worried about messing up time now as he was earlier! It's a good plan. Breaking Helen out isn't going to be easy. Poor Connor, he's really going through it!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: January 31st, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
heehee, yep, I did like breaking poor Connor, he's just so wonderfully breakable and easy to hurt. But he's *still* not hit absolute breaking point, poor lad *evil grin*
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