Title: The Substitute
Paring/characters: Nick/Connor, (Nick/Stephen mentioned)
Warnings: slash, slightly violent smut, implied BDSM.
Spoilers: episode 2.1
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 2500
AN: Written for Fredbassett, who requested Cutter/Connor a long time ago (sorry it took so long to deliver), and who also expressed an interest in ‘student-up-against-the-wall’ angst and smut. Hope this was what you wanted, Fred.
Nick was well into his third glass of scotch when he heard someone banging on the door.
He almost didn’t answer it. He didn’t want to see anyone, he just wanted to be left alone. The visitor was a persistent bastard, though, and when it became clear that they weren’t leaving, Nick got up and opened the door.
Connor’s grin seemed too bright in the dark night and in contrast to Nick’s mood.
“I thought after today you might want a bit of company to get pissed with, and since you and Stephen are a bit iffy right now, I thought it’d better be me. Only I don’t really know what you drink, so...” he held out a six pack of cans in one hand, and ferreted in his pocket with the other until he pulled out a bottle of scotch. “Beer or the hard stuff?”
Nick stared at him for a long time, trying to work out whether to hug his student or slam the door in his face. Eventually he opted for standing aside and letting Connor come in.
“I see you’ve started without me,” Connor commented as he dumped his alcohol on the table next to Nick’s half finished glass and bottle. He was either oblivious, or choosing to ignore the fact that Nick’s mood was radiating ‘want to hit something’ vibes.
“Didn’t think you were the drinking type,” Nick said, pausing long enough to get a second glass before he sat down again.
“I’m not, really,” Connor admitted. He threw his jacket onto the chair opposite, hesitated for a moment, then sat next to Nick on the sofa and eyed the shot glass before deciding to crack open one of the cans. “Abby calls me the One Pint Wonder. One pint and I’m anybody’s.”
Connor laughed nervously, and Nick just rolled his eyes and downed the rest of his glass of scotch. He was well on the way to being drunk already. He hoped Connor wasn’t going to talk too much, although experience suggested that was unlikely. At least Stephen had understood that sometimes getting drunk together shouldn’t involve much talking; just quiet company and a willing body to chase away the memories and the loneliness. Nick seriously doubted that Connor possessed enough to tact or common sense to understand that sort of relationship in the slightest.
“So,” Connor said. “How are you doing?”
“Do you honestly expect me to talk about my feelings with you?” He hadn’t intended to snap, but it was as if Connor had read his mind and picked the exactly the worst thing to say.
Connor shrugged, apparently ignoring Nick’s anger. “It’s either that or we start discussing temporal paradox physics, and that’s a conversation that’ll make even less sense once we’ve had a few.”
Nick closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the sofa. He took a couple of deep breaths, and tried to quell the anger and pain that the scotch had unlocked.
“It’s all just so much to take in. Claudia, Stephen, Helen, all the changes.”
“Yeah, but, are all the changes bad? I mean, some things must be better than you remember? Admittedly not the Claudia and Stephen and Helen things, but something must be better.”
“If it is I haven’t found it.”
But that wasn’t entirely true, and Nick knew it even as he said it. He had no intention of admitting that, though, because gaining a sensible, confident Connor in no way made up for losing Stephen. If the world was right and he had the option of who he wanted to be drinking with, Nick knew he wouldn’t choose the young man sat next to him right now. Which wasn’t fair in the slightest, because Connor had been the first, probably the only, person who believed him, and Connor was the only one who was here now, worrying about him.
“Maybe you just need to look a bit harder.” Connor’s voice was suddenly close, and Nick opened his eyes and found Connor practically in his face. “I mean, there’s bound to be loads of stuff that’s better-different instead of worse-different, we just need to work on finding out what they are. Because if you’re going round all depressed and pissed off because it’s all bad then we’ll never get anywhere with the anomalies, so we need to start working it out soon. Maybe we could go for a tour round all the places that you know and you can tell me if they’re different and then we can check them out-”
Nick grabbed Connor’s face and kissed him. He tried to kid himself that it was the easiest and most efficient way of getting him to shut up and stop the random prattling about differences. If Nick thought about it too hard, he could blame the alcohol and his anger and the fact that he was so exhausted that he wasn’t in complete control of himself. But really, he decided he’d rather not think about it at all.
Connor’s eyes widened in surprise for a moment, and then suddenly Nick was the one who was surprised because Connor was kissing him back. Nick let that fact sink in for a moment before he broke away and shoved Connor back against the sofa. Connor didn’t protest, didn’t even try to move from where he had been shoved, and it only took a moment for Nick to move over until he was straddling Connor’s lap. He pinned the younger man against the sofa and kissed him again, harder. His grip on Connor’s shoulder and arm got tighter and tighter as the pent up aggression he’d been feeling all day finally found an outlet. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the beer can drop from Connor’s hand and land on the carpet, spilling what was left of the contents.
Nick stared at it for a few seconds, and his brain suddenly caught up with what was going on.
He scrambled to his feet, backing away across the room.
“I’m sorry,” Nick managed to say.
Connor was still sprawled on the sofa, his face flushed, and his look of confusion being rapidly replaced with an expression not dissimilar to a kicked puppy.
“I’m sorry,” Nick said again. “I shouldn’t have done that. I was taking advantage.”
There was a flicker of anger in Connor’s eyes.
“I’m perfectly capable of saying ‘no’ if I don’t like it.”
“Not if you’re drunk.”
“Oh, that.” Connor looked momentarily sheepish. “I might have lied a little bit about the whole ‘one pint’ thing. It actually takes at least two.”
Far from helping, the fact that Connor was apparently entirely willing was doing crazy things to Nick’s world view, and he wasn’t even certain whether it was just the scotch that was making his head spin now.
“Maybe you should go,” he tried. If he could get Connor to leave now then they could both pretend it was a silly, drunken mistake, and go back to being colleagues at work tomorrow.
Connor stood up and walked over to him until he was inches away.
“Maybe I should stay.”
There was more promise and understanding in Connor’s dark eyes than Nick had ever believed possible.
“I’m not so sure that’s a good idea,” Nick said. His body was saying something entirely different, but he hoped that was just the scotch talking.
“I meant what I said,” Connor’s voice was quiet but determined. “You need to get your head together. I’m here to help you with that. Whatever it takes. Whatever you need.”
Those words went straight to Nick’s cock and his hand snatched out and grabbed Connor, wrapping around the back of his neck and tangling in his hair. He dragged Connor closer.
“You have no idea what I need,” Nick snarled.
Connor didn’t even flinch. “I think you need Stephen. But he isn’t here. I am. Your choice.”
Something in Nick snapped, and he was barely even aware of the line as he crossed over it into territory that he knew, he knew, was wrong but suddenly he didn’t care any more. This time he was certain it wasn’t just because of the alcohol either.
He shoved Connor against the wall, not caring how hard he pushed or how rough he was being as he kissed the younger man again, forcing his mouth open. A tiny part of Nick was appalled by the aggression, but in another, screwed up part of his mind he was aware that it was a deliberate attempt to scare Connor into stopping it. Because Nick knew beyond doubt that right then he couldn’t stop himself any more.
Far from stopping, though, Connor seemed to be encouraging him, his body going wherever Nick pushed him, his hands starting to scrabble at the buttons on Nick’s shirt. Nick let him for a moment, then he grabbed hold of Connor’s wrists and pinned them against the wall over his head. Connor’s eyes widened slightly, but there was still no protest.
“My game. My rules.” It was a game he had played with Stephen more than once, but the two of them had years of mutual trust to base it on. He tried to remind himself that this wasn’t Stephen.
“So teach me the rules,” Connor said, and suddenly it didn’t matter that he wasn’t Stephen, or that he was Nick’s student, or that this was all so very wrong.
Nick let go of his arms and undid Connor’s trousers, shoving them down over his hips. Somewhat unexpectedly, Connor didn’t try to move his arms down, and he shifted slightly to make it easier to get the pants and boxers out of the way. Nick spun him round and pressed him against the wall again, and Connor pillowed his forehead on his arms and closed his eyes. Nick had no idea how far he could push this. It had already gone so much further than he would have believed possible, or than he had even intended himself.
Stephen would have been noisier by now, a stream of filthy words of encouragement, occasionally begging. Connor was curiously silent, a state that Nick had previously believed the student incapable of maintaining for more than thirty seconds. Only his faster, harsher breathing gave away any indication of what was going on in his head.
If this was the way Connor wanted to play it… Nick decided to push it.
Nick slicked his fingers in his mouth and without warning he started to slowly push one into Connor. Connor gasped and tried to pull away, but there was nowhere to go and he could only squirm against the wall, a single whimper dragged out between breaths. Nick pulled out again, equally slowly, and then drove back in, at the same time grabbing Connor’s hip with his free hand and preventing him from moving away. Connor bit down on a cry, and clenched his fists, but stayed exactly where he was.
Nick added a second finger. Connor was so much tighter than Stephen. And so much more compliant. Stephen would often break the rules on purpose, because he knew he could, and because he enjoyed the consequences. Connor’s apparent willing obedience was arousing Nick far more than he wanted to admit.
He added a third finger, even though he suspected Connor was nowhere near ready. He couldn’t wait much longer, and needed to make sure he was prepared. Connor couldn’t keep silent any more, although he was apparently still trying. He was making all sorts of noises, but more importantly not a single one of them sounded like ‘no’. Nick let go of Connor’s hip and unzipped his jeans.
“Jacket… pocket,” Connor gasped.
“What?” it was the first time either of them had spoken for a few minutes and Nick was momentarily confused.
“If this is going where I think it is, I’d appreciate it if you’d go to my jacket pocket first.”
Which was an entirely more coherent sentence than he should have been capable of considering he had three fingers shoved into his arse.
Nick reluctantly pulled out and went to investigate. The condom and lube shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise as they were. He glanced back at Connor, who hadn’t moved from the position that Nick left him in.
“You planned this?” Nick’s anger made it sound like an accusation.
Connor glanced round and met his look.
“Planned, no. Suspected, yes.” Connor hesitated, then added, “You and Stephen weren’t the big secret that you seemed to think you were.”
“You intended this all along?” Nick suddenly wondered exactly who had been in control for the last few minutes.
“You jumped me, remember?” Connor commented.
The sudden rush of sanity was almost enough to make Nick’s head spin again.
“Get dressed. This isn’t happening.”
“What?” Connor looked like he’d been slapped.
“You heard me. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. You’re not Ste… I mean…” Nick ran his hand through his hair, looking at the jacket in his hand, and the beer and empty glasses on the table. Anywhere but at Connor.
He heard the sound of movement, of a zip being closed. Nick was still achingly hard and he needed Connor leave before he could deal with it. God, could this get any more fucked up? Suddenly Connor was next to him, and Nick held the jacket out, still trying to avoid looking at him. He felt guilty, he felt like a coward for not being able to meet the younger man’s eyes. He had no idea if he’d even be able to look at him at work tomorrow.
Instead of taking the jacket, Connor reached up and touched Nick’s face, and pulled him round so that he was forced to meet Connor’s look.
“You’re allowed to say no if you don’t like it.”
Nick didn’t have time for the ‘what?’ that formed on his lips before Connor’s hand slid down into Nick’s jeans and grabbed his cock. Even if he had wanted to, he couldn’t have said no as Connor brought him to the edge of climax in just a few short strokes. He reached round for something to get hold of, and there was only Connor, and Nick barely managed to grab hold of the younger man’s shoulder before he suddenly came all over his t-shirt and Connor’s hand. He rested his forehead on Connor’s shoulder while he tried to get his breath back and regain the ability to stand up on his own. Connor held him steady for a few minutes, and then somehow managed to brace enough of Nick’s weight to lower him down into the chair.
Connor leaned down and kissed him again, and this time there was no force or violence to it.
“You were right about one thing, Professor. I’m not Stephen.” Connor’s voice was harder than he expected, but his eyes held a hint of sadness. “Until you can deal with that, I think maybe you’d be better getting drunk on your own.”
Connor picked up his jacket and walked out. The door had already closed before Nick even realised that he was trying to find the words to stop him.