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Fanfic: The Price of Discovery - athene
Fanfic: The Price of Discovery

Title: The Price of Discovery

Author: Athene

Fandom: Primeval

Paring/characters: Nick, Helen.

Rating: PG

Warnings: implied character near-death.

Spoilers: none

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

Word count: approx 450

Summary: Nick has a crisis of faith, and Helen tries to help him.

AN: Written for Rodlox, who puts up with so much slash from the rest of us.  


Nick watched the ambulance race away, its siren screaming. He was wet, cold, exhausted, and covered in blood. Most of it wasn’t his own.

“He’ll be alright,” a voice said behind him.

“I thought you’d have left by now, Helen.”

“Well, nobody seems to be trying to arrest me right now, so I thought I’d stick around for a while.” She stepped closer and stood beside him as the sound of the ambulance was finally lost in the distance.


Nick was not thanking her for hanging around, and they both knew it. She was the one who had distracted the creature long enough for Ryan and his men to shoot it down. She was the one who had stopped it killing a member of Nick's team. But only just.

“He’ll be alright, Nick” she said in a softer voice. “And by the way, merry Christmas.”

Nick shivered in the cold. Snow was beginning to settle, covering up the evidence of carnage. He was struggling to find anything merry about it right then. Three casualties, one of them critical, a massive predator corpse to deal with, and another bloody mess to clear up.

“Sometimes I wonder,” he said slowly. “Sometimes… is it worth it? All this? Are the anomalies really worth all this?”

Helen’s hand closed over his. “Discovery always has a price. You know that.” She hesitated. “But yes, I believe they are worth it. More than worth it. And he’ll tell you the same thing when he wakes up.”

If he wakes up.

Nick shook his head.

“I don’t know. Sometimes, I just don’t know any more.”

He closed his eyes, trying to quell the images seared into his memory from the last half hour. He sensed Helen moving, and for a moment he assumed she would vanish, the same way she always did these days. But then she gently laid a hand on his cheek and kissed him, a soft kiss that held none of her usual force or passion, merely offering a moment of comfort. Nick hesitated, and then because he was tired, because he was afraid, because he wanted to believe that it really could all be okay again, he found himself returning the kiss.

At last Helen pulled away, and again Nick almost expected her to simply turn and walk away. But she didn’t. She stayed, and watched him with an expression that, for once, held no lies or games.

“Believe me Nick, it is worth it.”

Nick wanted to believe that she was right, but sometimes the price just seemed too high. Sometimes the price was paid in blood. And sometimes the price was eight lost years, and all the things that might have been.


Sorry this is such a downbeat fic considering it's Christmas Eve, I'm just in a wierd mood right now. And I've given up on the drabble that I was writing because it was just *so* similar to the one that Fredbassett did, and Fred posted first and hers was better anyway. So I wrote this one instead.  

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22 comments or Leave a comment
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: December 24th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, hon, I feel bad about the drabble now :( But as it led to this ficlet, which is great, I won't feel too guilty.

I think Christmas makes a lot of us feel weird. I've spent most of the day feeling I should be doing something other than just writing 'cos it's Xmas, and that's when you're meant to do Xmassy things, then I said to hell with it, and carried on writing .......... then I checked my f-list and found this, and loved it.

Helen gets a lot of stick, but I actually really like her as a character, and I love the interaction with Nick here and the way she comforts him.

And yay for more het for Rodlox, he sure deserves it!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 24th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bloody hell, you're quick off the mark. I'm still faffing around trying to cross-post it to Primeval_fanfic and Primeval_ITV, and there's already a comment.

Don't worry about the drabble. I poked it again this evening, but wasn't really happy with it anyway, so I gave up and did this.

It feels slightly strange to be writing Nick/Helen, given that my usual het pairing is Nick/Claudia. But it wasn't as difficult as I expected, so yey. I guess one of your het hares must have escaped back to my patch.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: December 24th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
The little carrot munching buggers are on the rampage right now, and they seem to be able to outrun the slash bunnies when they really try ............
rodlox From: rodlox Date: December 24th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

and this is why.

Because, as Helen puts it, it is worth it.

(that and some of the slash isn't scandalizing my eyes) ;)

nice kiss, btw.
I don't see it as downbeat...its rather cheery, given when it takes place.

thank you for writing and sharing this.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 24th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: and this is why.

No problem. I hoped you'd like it. It made an interesting change for me to write Helen as a 'good guy' as it were.

I do keep meaning to write more het, it's what I started out writing ages ago, and then somehow I got sucked into writing a huge ongoing slash series. Speaking of which, you probably won't like the next chapter of 3Y, because it's more relationship stuff and vague smut, but after that it's back to plot, and should stay that way for several chapters.
adafrog From: adafrog Date: December 30th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Great story. Thanks.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 30th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, glad you liked.
knitekat From: knitekat Date: August 11th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely and nice to see Helen as one of the 'good' guys for once.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: August 11th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I preferred Helen back before S2 when she was still morally ambiguous rather than outright mad and evil and throwing her lot in with Leek. She was a really interesting character with a lot of depth in S1, not just a cardboard cutout bad guy. Shame she didn't stay that way in later series, really. Glad you liked the fic, anyway.
taricha From: taricha Date: December 19th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
This is sad, but in a poignant way. She's a scientist, and apparently a devout one - for her, of course this would be worth it.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 19th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Helen really was a far more fascinating character in series 1, when she was complex and had views about humans and their place in nature, and the value of scientific discovery.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: October 14th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to read this again :)

Blimey, this really takes me back to those early days of the fandom.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: October 15th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was a really old one! Back before series 2, when Helen just went a bit wierd. She was an interesting and complex character in series 1, which was a lot more satisfying than what she eventually became.
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: October 14th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

You saved Ryan, yay, thank you!

Lovely look at Nick's doubts and losses and Helen being a comforter.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: October 15th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Um, it wasn't actually Ryan who got injured! I was actually thinking maybe Stephen or Connor, but left it deliberately ambiguous. Although Ryan was being competent, at least!

Anyway, thanks! The relationship between Nick and Helen was always intriguing in series 1.
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: October 16th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh? LOL. Interesting *G*

freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: October 15th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so glad this has been posted again.

I love the emotions here - and the image of Nick, all bloody and introspective.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: October 15th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it. Poor Nick, he wasn't having a good day, and he received comfort from a most unlikely source.
fififolle From: fififolle Date: October 15th, 2011 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw. That was super-emotive and rather sweet. Gorgeous!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: October 15th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. Poor Nick, he does angst so well, and I do much prefer ambiguous Helen, when she did occasionally work *with* the team for no obvious reason, just because she could. And I think she did always love Nick, even when she went a bit wierd later.
lsellersfic From: lsellersfic Date: October 31st, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd not read this before. A lovely bittersweet little fic!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: October 31st, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. Helen was far more interesting in series 1.
22 comments or Leave a comment