Pairing/characters: Nick, Connor, (Nick/Claudia implied).
Spoilers: episode 6
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 470
Summary: Amid all the loss, Nick isn’t the only one who’s drowning.
AN: This was originally a drabble idea for the Primeval 100 challenge ‘New Beginnings’, but it kept growing and refused to be 100 words.
The scotch bottle was empty. Nick glared at it for a moment, then hurled it at the wall. The spray of shattered glass mocked him like the anomaly that had stolen Claudia.
“Professor?” Connor was standing in the office doorway. He didn’t seem particularly surprised by the display of anger. He was used to Nick’s moods by now.
“She’s gone,” Nick said. “I can’t find her.” He felt empty.
Connor didn’t say anything, but he came into the office and closed the door behind him.
Nick slumped down into his seat. He didn’t want to take his anger out on the young man, he knew it wasn’t fair. Especially considering that Connor was the one who had spent the last three weeks helping him in his ultimately futile search for Claudia.
“We tried. You tried. But you’re right, she’s gone.” Connor said.
Nick was so busy feeling sorry for himself that he almost failed to notice the tension in Connor’s voice, the sense that the younger man was trying to say something more important. A selfish part of him didn’t care. What could Connor be concerned about that would in any way compare to everything that he, Nick, had lost?
“This isn’t my world.”
“Maybe not,” Connor allowed hesitantly. “But don’t you think you’ve chased your world for long enough now? It’s time to let it go, Professor.”
“What? Just like that? Just give up?”
Even from his mire of self-pity, Nick couldn’t help but see the sudden snap of anger. Connor leaned across the table towards him, an unfamiliar hardness to his expression. “No. Not give up. Start over. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and deal with the fact that things are different in this timeline.”
Nick stared at him. The Connor in his timeline would never have spoken to him like that. Another difference to adjust to.
“You may not want to be here, but you are.” Connor hesitated, and his voice softened. “Professor, we can’t do this without you. It’s getting worse, people are dying. While you’re chasing after an impossibility, we’re… we’re drowning in this, Cutter. We need you. Please, let the past go. Come back to us.”
Even an actual blow couldn’t possibly have surprised him as much as this metaphorical slap in the face. Nick looked, really looked at Connor for the first time in three weeks. He saw the same sense of loss reflected back at him. Maybe it was because of what had happened to his friend, but of all people, somehow Connor understood.
Nick had lost so much; Claudia, Captain Ryan, his friendship with Stephen, and he now realised that his obsession with finding Claudia had almost cost him his team. Much as he hated to admit it, maybe Connor was right. Maybe it was time to accept this new world, this new beginning.
The anomalies may have had stolen his past, but Nick was aware that they also offered him a new future. And it was going to start right now.