Title: Undue Provocation
Pairing/characters: Becker, Stephen
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: Approx 811
Summary: Do not disrespect the shotgun. Especially when Becker is holding it.
AN: Rather late birthday fic for nietie.
AN2: Also fills the ‘Carboniferous’ square on my Primeval bingo card, and if you squint a bit, it also fills the ‘Job-related trauma’ square on my hurt/comfort bingo card.
“Look, all I’m saying is that if you had spent less time worrying about whether you had Carboniferous swamp in your hair, we might have made it back before the anomaly closed.”
Becker spared a second to glare, before turning his attention back to the incoming horde.
“So this is my fault?”
Stephen smirked, while keeping his eyes on the biggest flying insect... thing... that Becker had ever seen.
“I didn’t say that exactly,” Stephen said, in the tone of voice that made it completely clear that was exactly what he had meant, whether he had said it or not.
One of the giant insects was getting far too close. Becker took aim and fired, but at the last second it jinked sideways and he only clipped it.
Becker swore as the insect swerved away and flew off, listing badly on one side but still very much airborne and dangerous.
“See, that’s the thing about shotguns,” Stephen pointed out in that annoying tone of his. “You just don’t have the accuracy.”
As if to prove his point (which Becker was certain was, in fact, exactly what the smug git was doing), Stephen brought his rifle up and took out an insect that was still way up in the dense Carboniferous jungle above their heads. The insect dropped like a proverbial stone through the canopy and landed in the stinking swamp a couple of yards in front of them.
“A rifle, on the other hand, now that is a precision weapon,” Stephen continued.
He threw Becker a half smirk. Becker pointedly ignored him.
“Of course,” Stephen added. “No matter how good the weapon, it really does just come down to how good the person using it is.”
Becker pressed his lips together and refused to rise to the bait. After all, Mr ‘almost made the Olympic shooting team’ might be good with a rifle, but Becker suspected he wouldn’t last five minutes in basic training at Sandhurst.
Besides, it was just as much, if not more, Stephen’s fault that they had got stuck in the Carboniferous. He had insisted on wading across the swamp to collect a particular sample for Cutter, and of course Becker had felt honour bound to go with him and keep him safe, because team security was his job, after all. And then there had been the incident with Becker overreacting a tiny little bit to being startled by a giant prehistoric spider, which led to accidentally falling in said murky swamp, and it was all very well Stephen taking the piss but was going to take bloody hours to get this crap out of his hair!
He shuddered as more of the gunk dripped down the back of his jacket. As soon as they got home (well, okay, as soon as they got home and he’d had a shower) Becker would be writing a very strongly worded report recommending that any anomalies to the Carboniferous be immediately cordoned off and no scientific investigation be allowed in future. He was sure Ryan would back him up on that one. Especially when he heard about the size of the spiders.
“I think they might be learning some respect,” Becker commented. The insects were still swarming, but they were staying just far enough away that it was no longer worth wasting ammo trying to pick them off.
“Technically I don’t think their brains are big or developed enough to learn anything, they act purely on instinct.”
Becker rolled his eyes. It always had to turn into a natural history lesson with these bloody scientists.
Suddenly the air a little way in front of them shimmered, and the anomaly burst back into existence.
The insects went berserk, flying back and forth and darting towards them.
“Go!” Becker yelled. He shoved Stephen to emphasis the point. “Go! I’ll cover you.”
“I’m not lea-”
“Stop being bloody heroic and just go. I’ll be right behind you.”
Stephen met his eyes, suddenly serious for once, and Becker nodded.
Stephen got up and ran for the anomaly.
A particularly massive insect broke away from the swarm and dived towards Stephen. Becker raised his shotgun, took aim... and waited. He was not going to miss this bastard this time. He fired at the last possible moment, and the insect exploded in a satisfyingly messy splatter of goo. Becker ducked. Stephen didn’t.
Stephen stumbled through the anomaly a few steps ahead of Becker. Becker kept his distance.
“Ugh!” Stephen wiped insect goo from his face with a disgusted expression. Nasty yellowish gunk continued to drip from his hair and clothes.
Becker took another step back.
“You really need to work on your aim,” Stephen said.
Becker allowed himself a little smirk, and patted his trusty shotgun.
“Actually, I hit exactly what I was aiming for.”
It was almost worth it all for the look on Stephen’s face.