athene (deinonychus_1) wrote,

Fanfic: Three Years - Part 5: Learning Curve

Series: Three Years, part 5

Title: Learning Curve

Author: Athene

Fandom: Primeval

Characters/pairing: Ryan/Connor

Rating: 18

Warnings: AU, occasional language, smut.

Spoilers: Anything through to episode 5.

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

Word count: approx 5300

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

AN: Thanks to Fredbassett for beta comments (and also thanks for comments on the previous chapter, which I forgot to mention, sorry). Also, a nod to Oddegg, who first gave us the ‘Connor the gay virgin’ thing. That was just such a perfect way of putting it, I couldn't find a better way of putting it.  

      Apparently, Connor liked to cuddle. The younger man had an arm and a leg tangled around Ryan, and his face was nestled against the captain’s shoulder. It was light outside, had been for some time, but this was the first decent stretch of sleep that Connor had managed to get all night, and Ryan didn’t want to disturb him. So he lay still. Awake. Alert.
       He wanted to fucking kill someone.
       Long after Connor had finally fallen asleep last night, Ryan had lain awake, thinking of all the ways he wanted to hurt the bastards who had done that to him. It wasn’t even that he was particularly surprised by the content of what Connor had told him. He had suspected as much from the moment he heard Barclay mention Section 42. But his suspicions had in no way prepared him for hearing Connor talking about it, describing what had happened, what had been done to him, in a voice that was trying, and ultimately failing, to hide the emotions that came with the memories.
       Who the hell were these people? And more to the point, why were they so convinced that the two of them were lying about what had happened in the Jurassic? Lester had told him that his life was in danger. Why? Why had they only picked Connor out for interrogation, and not him? The likely answer to that one was simple, and also insulting – somebody had decided that Connor was the brains of the partnership and he, Ryan, had been written off as just the muscle. He hoped that was an underestimation that he could use to his advantage later.
       From the few rumours that he’d heard in his years of military service, Ryan suspected that Section 42 was some sort of super-secret operation, almost certainly working outside the law, perhaps even outside the government. It probably wasn’t even called Section 42, that was just the name that had been given to it by people who dared to discuss it on the internet, or in the government and military equivalents of urban legend.
       He felt Connor shift slightly, and then become very still. Ryan glanced down and his gaze was met by two ever so slightly confused brown eyes.
       “Morning,” Ryan said. He made an effort to quell the angry thoughts that been circling in his brain, and to appear relaxed. Whatever else had happened the day before, there were some things that he had no regrets about. He just hoped Connor felt the same.
       Connor almost smiled. Then Ryan saw the moment when the rest of his memories escaped from the post-sleep fog, and abruptly the younger man’s expression became guarded again.
       “Um, hi?” Connor said.
       Ryan couldn’t help it, he laughed. “You’re cute when you’re confused,” he said.
       Connor apparently wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or outraged at that, and his expression got caught somewhere in between, making Ryan smile even more.
       “Cute?” Connor eventually said, unable to suppress his own smile. “Thanks a lot, Ryan, that’s really done my manly self-image a lot of good.”
       Ryan somehow managed to adopt a straight face. “Okay, how about, you’re hot and manly when you’re confused?”
       “And you’re entirely too smug for your own good sometimes.”
       “After last night I think I’m allowed to be,” Ryan commented. He watched Connor’s face for a reaction, some indication of whether Connor was going to be relaxed about the whole thing. 
       “Actually, after last night I think I get to win the slightly smug award for the day. Although I’m still trying to work out exactly how I got away with it.”
       “The element of surprise, mostly,” Ryan commented. “That, and being cute.”
       Connor slapped him on the chest. “Stop saying that,” he protested, but without much conviction. “Otherwise I might have to… I don’t know, jump you again or something.”
       “And that’s supposed to be an incentive to stop?” Ryan smirked. He had his answer now, and couldn’t help wondering how many more times Connor was going to manage to surprise him. Clearly, the phrase ‘expect the unexpected’ was going to be the motto where his young partner was concerned.
       “So, what happens now?” Connor asked.
       “Well, much as I fancy the idea of staying in bed all day, I think there’s something else we need to be doing. Come on, if we get a move on they’re still serving breakfast for the next hour.” He threw the duvet aside and extricated himself from the tangle of limbs, trying to remember exactly whose clothes were whose after last night’s activities.
       “Ryan?” Connor said, still not moving from the bed. His voice had become serious after the banter. “What are we going to do now?”
       “No. I mean-”
       “I know what you mean,” Ryan said, looking back at him. “But first we need to eat. Then we can work out where we go next.”
       Breakfast consisted of a full English, and several rounds of toast, and by the time they had finished Connor had started to accuse Ryan of sounding like a Jewish grandmother. Ryan laughed it off, but in truth he wasn’t sure when they might manage to have another meal this good, and since they’d already paid for it he was damn well going to make the most of it. He was quite relieved to note that there were only one other set of guests staying that day, and they had already left the dining room by the time the two of them arrived. If the landlady had overheard any of their argument last night she was being discreet, because nothing was mentioned, and her apparently endless chatter about the local tourist sites continued unabated.
       Before they left, Ryan made certain there weren’t any obvious signs of Connor’s blood, or anything else, left in the bathroom, or accidentally on the sheets or towel.
       “If they want to check the place with forensics they’ll find something,” Connor pointed out.
       “I know,” Ryan admitted. “But there’s no reason to make it easy for them.”
       Once they were in the car and driving off into the countryside again, Connor said, “Okay, Captain Attention Span. Now you’re not being distracted by your stomach, what are we going to do next?”
       “Well, first thing, we need to ditch this car. It’ll be reported stolen by now.”
       Connor was quiet for a moment.
       “This is really happening, isn’t it? We’re being hunted by our own government.”
       Ryan wondered if it really had only just sunk in, or if Connor was seeking confirmation for something he couldn’t quite believe.
       “Yep. That sums it up.”
       “Somehow, conspiracies were more fun when I wasn’t actually involved in a real one.”
       “In answer to the original question, I think that leaving the country might be our best option in the long term. But right now, I want to head into a small town, pick up some camping gear, decent walking boots for both of us, and just head out into the country. We can find somewhere remote, hide out for few days, maybe a couple of weeks, and then try to get across to Ireland or the Continent. Without any form of ID, it’ll be tricky, but not impossible.”
       Connor stared at him. “You’re not serious?”
       “I don’t joke about life and death survival situations.”
       “It’s the middle of winter. We can’t camp out.”
       “The more time we spend in towns, the more dangerous it’ll be. There are far too many surveillance cameras around, we’ll get identified, especially if we stay in one place too long.” Ryan wasn’t exactly a covert ops specialist, but he knew enough that his instincts, and all his survival training, were telling him to get out of civilisation and go into hiding. 
       “Big Brother’s watching, right?”
       “Exactly. They’ve got an entire secret government organisation, plus Special Forces backup. They can call in local police if they think we’re in a specific area. They’ll be checking stolen cars, CCTV, the works.” He paused. “On the other hand, our assets; we’ve got a head start, your brains, my training, a stolen car and about two hundred quid.”
       Connor gave him a sceptical look. “Ryan, whatever you do, don’t give up the day job to become a motivational speaker. You suck.”
       Ryan chuckled. It was encouraging that Connor’s sense of humour was back. He was under no illusions about how dangerously close Connor had been to breaking point last night, but even after everything that had happened, the young man hadn’t broken yet.
       “Sounds like you’ve got it all planned out,” Connor said.
       Ryan detected a hint of irritation in his partner’s voice.
       “Have you got a better idea?”
       “I’ve got a suggestion.”
       “Connor, I told you yesterday, we’re in this together. If you’ve got ideas, I want to hear them.” Ryan really meant it, he wasn’t just humouring him. Connor might not have the training in this sort of thing, but he was smart, and more to the point his brain worked in a completely different way to Ryan’s. Connor would think of things that he wouldn’t normally consider, and that just might give them an edge against any Special Forces men in pursuit who thought they knew what to expect from another soldier.
       “Okay then. What about Cutter and the others?”
       “What about them?”
       “We should get in contact with them. I bet they’d help us. And we need to know what’s been going on for the past three years, all the stuff we’ve missed. The more we know about the people who are after us, the better we’ll be able to stay one step ahead.”
       “You’re right,” Ryan admitted. “There’s just one small problem.”
       “Which is?”
       “How do you know we can trust them?”
       “Of course we can trust them,” Connor said, sounding surprised. Then, looking a little worried, he added, “We can, right?”
       “If you want the truth, right now there are only two people who I’m willing to trust. We’re both sitting in this car.”
       “But, it’s Cutter, and Abby and Stephen. We worked with them, they’re my friends.”
       “Think about it Connor. We worked with them for about four or five months on the anomaly project. From their perspective, we’ve been gone for three years. For them, we’ve been dead far longer than they ever knew us for in the first place. A lot has obviously changed in the last three years, people change. I know they’re your mates, and you want to trust them. But right now, knowing all that, are you really prepared to trust them with your life?”
       “Yes,” Connor said without hesitation.
       Ryan wished he could share Connor’s conviction.
       “Even if that’s the case, there’s every possibility that Cutter and the others are being watched. That the people who are after us would expect us to try and make contact with them, and they’re waiting for us.”
       Connor gave him a curious look. “You’re quite scary when you’re paranoid,” he commented.
       “I’m not being paranoid, I’m being careful. This is how we have to think to get through this, Connor. Like you said yourself, we’re being hunted by our own government.”
       “You sound like Tom,” Connor said quietly. Ryan glanced at him, confused for a moment. “My friend, Tom, the guy who died because of the parasite,” Connor clarified. “He used to say stuff like that, like, ‘never underestimate the dark forces’.”
       “He was right,” Ryan said.
       Connor remained quiet for a while and Ryan didn’t press the conversation.
       “Abby,” Connor suddenly said.
       “I bet we could get in touch with Abby. I agree we probably shouldn’t go back into London, so that makes it difficult to get hold of Cutter or Stephen, but if Abby still works at Wellington Zoo, maybe we could get her there. They can’t have so many spies looking for us everywhere, surely? I mean, maybe they’re watching Abby’s home, or tapping her phone or whatever, but they can’t be everywhere all the time.”
       Ryan considered it for a moment or two. “It’s possible,” he said. “Assuming she does still work at the zoo. But we’d need to find some way of getting in touch without being obvious, just in case she is being watched.”
       “Well, we could try the direct approach. It’s a zoo, we could just walk in pretending to be visitors and then sneak around till we find her.”
       Ryan gave him a vaguely pained look. “One day I’m going to buy you a dictionary, and highlight words like ‘subtle’ and ‘covert ops’.”
       “Okay, maybe we could get a message to her. Something that she would know was from us, but without being obvious to anyone else that it was from us.”
       Connor seemed to be getting more enthusiastic the more he talked about it.
       “Well you’re the one who used to share a house with her. What do you have in mind?” Ryan was still a little sceptical, but the idea had some merit, and as long as the message was suitably cryptic they might get away with it.
       Connor gave him a worryingly large grin. “Leave it to me. I’ve got a plan.”

       “Connor. You’re not left handed.”
       “Full marks for observation,” Connor commented, without looking up from what he was doing.
       “So why are you writing left handed?”
       “Because one, it’ll disguise the handwriting. And two, it’ll make it more untidy and childish looking.”
       With only a slightly better idea of what Connor’s ‘plan’ seemed to entail, Ryan went back to reading the newspaper and keeping a watch for anyone walking along the path or giving them any attention.
       They had found a small town that morning and Ryan had picked up the camping stuff he wanted, and better outdoor clothes and boots for them both. Connor had disappeared off to a newsagents and came back with notepaper, envelopes, stamps, and a pack of pens, pencils, and crayons, and a very enigmatic refusal to reveal what he was planning.
       They abandoned the car in a train station car park, where vehicles left for a long time wouldn’t attract too much attention, and then hiked for several miles, sticking to footpaths and avoiding the main roads. It was mid afternoon now, and they had found a picnic bench along a tourist walk through a patch of woodland. It was quiet, out of the way, and there were very few other walkers since it was a weekday.
       The newspaper didn’t tell Ryan a whole lot that was immediately useful. If it wasn’t for the date on the top of the page, it could just as easily have been from 2007 instead of 2010. Celebrities, political scandals, more British soldiers getting shot or blown up in the Middle East.
       Some things didn’t fucking change, he thought.
       “When do we want to meet her?” Connor asked. “Is tomorrow cutting it too fine in case she doesn’t get the message in time? If we post it first class today it should get there for tomorrow, I think.”
       Ryan looked over at Connor again. He was looking thoughtful and absently chewing the pencil. 
       “What exactly are you telling her?”
       “We need to set up a meeting time and place, right? So I was thinking of Avebury stone circle, because it’s open so we’ll see if anyone’s hanging around looking suspicious, and there’s plenty of ways out if it all goes wrong, and it’s somewhere that she’ll recognise without having to give a really obvious address or anything. But I don’t know when to say.”
       “Make it Saturday to be safe.” Saying the day after tomorrow would allow time for postal delays, or the possibility of Abby simply missing the post tomorrow. Ryan had been to Avebury once several years ago, and while there were strategic problems, it had more advantages than most of the other places they had talked about as a possible meeting site. Saturday would mean more people around, but on the other hand that might work in their favour at such a place, and they could try to blend in with the tourists.
       Connor went back to his writing, and Ryan went back to the newspaper. He flicked to the back and surveyed the sports pages. Apparently England still couldn’t put together a winning international football team. Another thing that hadn’t changed in the last three years.
       “There. What do you think?” Connor announced about ten minutes later. He pushed a piece of paper across the table to Ryan.
       After an initial moment of what the hell is that? Ryan had to admit it was good. The page contained a brief letter written in what appeared to be a child’s untidy handwriting:
       Dear Miss Maitland
       I really really enjoyed my visit to the zoo on Saterday. Thank you for showing us the lizards. I liked the lizards best because they look like dinosaurs. 
      It was signed Rex Avebury, aged 7. Underneath the scrawl was a deliberately childish, yet surprisingly accurate, picture of Rex. It was coloured in green, with an extra note saying; this was my favourite lizard.
      “See,” Connor still looked far too enthusiastic. “It’s got the day – Saturday, and it highlights the day because there’s the wrong spelling, and it’s a picture of Rex so she’ll know it’s from someone who knows about the anomalies and about Rex, and it’s got the place in the name at the end. She’ll work it out, I’m sure she will. I didn’t want to be too obvious, just in case anyone else got hold of it. We can post it to the zoo, and I bet no one will look twice at it, because they must get letters from kids who’ve visited all the time.”
       I wasn’t bad, Ryan had to give him that. Privately he thought it would be a miracle if Abby worked out the message from that, but Connor was right – anything more specific might be too easily picked up if anyone else read it.
       “Looks good,” he said. “There’s a village just down the hill. Let’s go find a postbox before we miss the last collection.”

      “So, are you sure we’ll be safe here?”
       “Should be. Hold that corner down.”
       Connor did as he was told while Ryan finished putting the last poles into the tent. He felt slightly guilty that he hadn’t done more to help, but he wasn’t great at putting tents up in the daylight, let alone in the dark when it was cold and his fingers were freezing and he kept falling over errant tree roots that he couldn’t see under the fallen leaves. So, despite his desire to be useful, he had mostly ended up just staying out of the way and occasionally holding things while Ryan sorted out their camping arrangements.
       Ryan clearly wasn’t entirely happy with their choice of campsite. He said the woodland wasn’t as large or as dense as he had been hoping for, but it was the best they’d been able to find in the area. Still, as an added precaution Ryan had insisted they waited until after dark to pitch the tent, and that they were going to move out again before dawn the following day, just in case it turned out to be a popular local dog-walking area or something.
       Connor absorbed the information without argument. He occasionally wondered if it was a bad sign that he had started to automatically assume that Ryan knew what he was doing. True, they had spent the day discussing ideas and plans, both throwing suggestions in for debate, but in the end they still seemed to be going with Ryan’s original plan of hiding out in the country. Connor really hoped that their meeting with Abby would give them some alternatives, though, because he was already less than thrilled with this idea of being on the run, and they had only been at it since yesterday.
       Yesterday. Connor was glad they had spent most of today talking about the future, because it meant he didn’t have time to think about what had happened, what had been done to him the previous day. He didn’t want to remember it, but any time that he wasn’t actively concentrating on something else it had a tendency to creep up on him and suddenly he could hear the man with the Newsreader Voice in his head, and then he was jumping at shadows and noises, and hating himself a little for being a stupid coward, and for being so scared and helpless. And then the worst part, the overpowering sense of shame, and he hated that as well, because he knew, he knew, it wasn’t his fault, and that he’d done everything he could to resist the interrogation but still he’d broken, and that fact just made him feel dirty and humiliated.
       Connor caught himself starting to slide and for the first time he managed to stop himself from being swamped by the memories. That was good right? That was a sign that he was starting to get over it? Besides, yesterday hadn’t been all bad. Perversely, Connor was quite aware of the fact that if he hadn’t been pushed so far by the events of the day, then he probably would never have dared to take the initiative in what turned out to be the most confusingly awesome experience he’d had in a very long time.
       Speaking of which…
       “So, we never, um, discussed sleeping arrangements.” Bugger. Connor suspected that the ‘um’ really blew the nonchalant tone of voice he’d been aiming for.
       Ryan glanced up from where he was hammering in a tent peg, and Connor could swear he was smirking again.
       “No, we didn’t.”
       Oh, great, was Ryan going to make him spell it out again? Connor was ninety nine percent certain that the previous night hadn’t been a one off, an anomaly, but far too many years of rejection had left him with a distinct lack of self-confidence when it came to this kind of thing, even if it hadn’t affected his optimism. That meant he still had a lurking suspicion it had all been a stress reaction, or just a way for Ryan to stop him from freaking out completely. Which was stupid, because Ryan hadn’t been weird about it today, and he’d certainly looked like he was enjoying himself last night. But still…
       Connor was sure he hadn’t been telegraphing his indecision, but either he was, or Ryan was just getting far too good at reading him, because suddenly Ryan said, “Oh, for fuck’s sake, Connor.” He stood up, covered the distance between them in a couple of strides, and dragged him into a deep kiss.
       Connor tried to find something sensible to do with his hands that didn’t involve flailing, but by the time he’d figured it out Ryan was already breaking away. Part of Connor’s mind was trying to tell him to sort his expression into something that didn’t look quite so vacant and surprised, but the rest of his mind was still too busy being surprised. Besides, Ryan didn’t seem to mind because he had this amused little smile.
       “Okay,” Connor eventually managed to say a little breathlessly. “I guess that answers that question.”
        “You know, for a guy who’s supposed to be so smart, you can be a completely clueless idiot sometimes.”
       “And you’re being smug again,” was the best reply Connor could come up with. Not great, he had to admit, but hey, he was still feeling pretty new to this.
       Ryan’s grin got even bigger.
       “Go on, get in the tent and start sorting out the bedding. I’ll finish off out here.”
       By the time Ryan crawled into the tent with him and closed it against the outside world, Connor had organised the bed rolls and unzipped the sleeping bags, putting them together to make a double. He shoved the rucksacks to one side, wondering exactly why the designers had used the smallest men they could possibly find when they came up with the measurements for a ‘two-man tent’. 
       Even in the almost pitch dark of the tent, he was aware of Ryan starting to strip, depositing his boots and clothes into a tidy pile by the side. Connor got as far as taking his boots off and then stopped.
       “What are you waiting for? Ditch the clothes.” Ryan was already climbing into the sleeping bag.
       “It’s too cold.”
       “Okay, the thing about sharing body heat – it doesn’t work so well through three layers of clothing. Get a move on, it’s bloody cold in here as well right now.”
       Reluctantly Connor got down to his shorts and t-shirt, and then scrambled into the sleeping bag. He hoped they didn’t have to move out quickly, he’d never find his stuff in the dark.
       Before he had even stopped wriggling into a comfortable position, Ryan had pressed close behind him and wrapped an arm around Connor’s chest.
       “See? Much better.”
       Better, yes. Connor was yet to be convinced about whether it was warmer. The bed rolls weren’t exactly doing much to help with the fact that they had pitched the tent on what seemed to be a tangled mass of tree roots either. Although after sleeping on a rock surface in a cave in the Jurassic, Connor knew he could sleep just about anywhere if he was tired enough.
       Ryan’s breath was warm on his neck, and Connor tried to stop himself from shivering too much. It wasn’t entirely down to the temperature any more.
       “You have bloody cold feet,” Ryan complained after a minute or two.
       “But you’re quite warm, so I’m happy,” Connor commented. “You make a great hot water bottle.” Admittedly an extremely solid, well-muscled hot water bottle, but that wasn’t a problem. It was quite reassuring, in fact.
       “Thanks,” Ryan muttered with more than a little sarcasm.
       “A hundred and one uses for a Captain Ryan: use number ten – hot water bottle.” Connor grinned.
       “Do I even want to ask what uses one to nine are?” Connor could imagine the arched eyebrows that went with the question.
       “Mmmm... protector, survival expert, covert ops specialist, bloke who knows how to put a tent up in the dark.” Friend. Lover. Connor snuggled closer, enjoying the feeling of simply being held.
       Ryan chuckled. “I can think of a few more interesting uses than that.”
       They became quiet for a while until Connor said, “Of all the people I know, you’re about the last one who I’d have thought was, you know, into men.” He regretted it as soon as he’d said it, but the thought had suddenly appeared out of nowhere and bypassed his brain-to-mouth filter.
       “I don’t exactly broadcast it,” Ryan replied. He didn’t seem to be at all offended, which was a relief. As if to back that up, he nuzzled Connor’s neck and shoulder, and his hand slid underneath Connor’s t-shirt. “Besides, you were a bit of a surprise as well.”
       “You’re not the only one who was surprised by that,” Connor admitted.
       Ryan’s nuzzling stopped, and he hesitated a moment before he said, “You’ve not done this before?”
       “No, that was my evil twin you were with last night. I’m the good, innocent one.”
       “All the better for corrupting, then,” Ryan said. His hand continued to explore Connor’s chest, and Connor’s breath caught when fingers brushed across a nipple. “Seriously,” Ryan pressed. “Have you done this before?”
       “Not with a man.” He thought he’d have been embarrassed to admit it, but suddenly it just wasn’t a big deal. Besides, it wasn’t like Ryan was going to kick him out of bed for being a gay virgin. Still, Connor was glad Ryan couldn’t see his expression in the dark.
       Whatever Ryan thought about that fact, he was keeping it to himself, but his hand started to track lower until it slid under the waistband of Connor’s shorts. Connor closed his eyes and his breath caught again. Ryan was so close behind him that Connor could tell he wasn’t the only one with a hard-on.
       “Actually, this is really nice, but I was wondering if we could do more.”
       Ryan’s hand stopped abruptly.
       Oh, shit, was that out loud? Connor suspected his brain-to-mouth filter was in serious need of an overhaul.
       “You’re asking me to fuck you?” Ryan’s voice sounded either shocked or appalled by the suggestion, it was kind of difficult to tell without being able to see him. Connor really, really hoped it was shock, because apart from anything else just hearing Ryan say that, the thought of doing that, had made him so painfully aroused he was probably going to do something really embarrassing, and undoubtedly messy, at the slightest touch.
       Somehow, Connor ignored the tiny, panicked voice inside his head. “Yes.”
       Ryan was silent, and still, for a long time. So long that Connor was starting to get really worried that he’d done something mind-numbingly stupid and completely wrecked an arrangement that was otherwise working okay. Although, on the plus side, the threat of making a mess of the sleeping bag was quickly receding as well. If you could at all call that a plus side.
       “No,” Ryan said.
       Connor’s heart sank. He had fucked it up.
       “Not now,” Ryan clarified, his voice concerned, as if he suddenly realised what the rejection had sounded like. “Trust me Connor, there’s nothing I’d like more than to shag you into the mattress, but right here, right now we’re not prepared, and I’m not doing it dry. Especially not if it’s your first time.”
       A surge of relief outweighed any disappointment that Connor felt.
       “Are you okay with that?” Ryan’s voice still had the edge of worried concern.
       “Yeah, that’s okay.”
       “Sorry. I thought you’d want to take it slower. You just surprised me. Again.”
       “It’s fine. Besides, a cold tent in the middle of nowhere wasn’t exactly the place I had in mind for, you know, the first time.” That was a complete lie. Connor didn’t care where it happened, just as long as it did happen at some point.
       “Are you sure you’re okay?”
       “Will you stop bloody asking that?” Connor snapped. “I don’t care if you could probably kill me one-handed, if you ask that again I’m going to hit you.”
       “Okay, I get the message,” Ryan said, partway between sounding exasperated and amused. He pulled away far enough to tug on Connor’s shoulder and turn him over onto his back.
       Connor reached out in the darkness and his hand traced the curving lines of muscles that made the contours of Ryan’s chest. He’d seen the guy naked more than once now, and he knew from experience just how fit and strong Ryan was. But this tactile exploration somehow made it more real, more solid, more oh my god I’m sleeping with a man who really could kill me with his bare hands if he wanted to. A little over a week ago, that thought would have fallen somewhere on the spectrum between ‘deeply wrong’ and ‘bloody terrifying’. Now, though, it was a thought that Connor associated with comfort and safety. And the fact that he’d somehow managed to end up in this situation with such a man, well, Connor was prepared to feel more than a little smug about that for as long as it lasted. 
       “How about no more talking?” Ryan’s voice distracted him from his thoughts. “Because right now I can think of much better things to be doing with my mouth.”
       Connor couldn’t agree more. And on the plus side, he sure as hell wasn’t noticing the cold any more.



Tags: connor temple, connor/ryan, fanfic, slash, tom ryan

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