Title: Slippery When Wet
Pairing/characters: Connor/Ryan, Stephen, Cutter, Abby.
Warnings: implied slash
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 1000
Summary: Sometimes creature hunting is a messy business.
AN: Birthday present for mysteriousaliwz . Belated happy birthday, sorry it’s a day late.
Connor was running like his life depended on it. Ironically, on this occasion his life didn’t depend on it. But that didn’t mean he was going to slow down any time soon. The creature, a small, prehistoric ferret-creature thing, was fast, and if he stopped even for a second he was going to lose sight of it in the long grass.
This was all Ryan’s fault, Connor was sure of it. Ryan has jinxed a perfectly nice, quiet anomaly by saying he was bored. In which ‘bored’ was almost certainly a euphemism for ‘randy’. But since all this frantic running and shouting and adrenaline was clearly all his fault, Connor was already thinking of suitable ways for Ryan to make it up to him later. There was no point wasting all that perfectly good ‘boredom’.
The ferret-creature darted left into the hedgerow at the edge of the field. Connor didn’t hesitate, and plunged through after it.
He hadn’t realised there was a slight dip in the field on the other side of the hedge. Or that the dip had become a huge great muddy puddle after all the rain recently.
Connor almost managed to leap over it, but his foot caught up in the tangle of the hedgerow and he plunged face first into the puddle, arms flailing. He emerged a second later, spluttering and shaking water out of his face and hair. There was movement in front of him, and he saw the ferret-creature scampering around the edge of the puddle, avoiding the water.
That’s just showing off, Connor thought as he pushed himself up and dived to grab it. He was about as surprised as the ferret-creature when he actually succeeded. The ferret-creature started struggling wildly, and Connor needed both hands to hold onto it. He realised a fraction of a second too late that meant he had no free hands to keep himself upright, and gravity dropped him back into the puddle.
Thank god, the cavalry had finally arrived.
“Here,” he yelled, still struggling with the ferret-creature. He shoved himself up onto his elbows and tried to pull the ferret-creature closer to his body to prevent it moving around so much. That, and the sound of more people crashing through the hedge, seemed to drive it into even more of a frenzy to escape. The creature was now wet and slippery, and so were Connor’s hands, and he realised he couldn’t hold onto it at the precise second it slipped out of his grasp.
He expected it to race off across the field. Unfortunately, its instinct to hide was stronger than its instinct to run when faced with so many threats. And at that moment, the nearest small, dark hiding place it could see was straight down Connor’s collar and inside his shirt.
In the part of his brain that wasn’t currently fixated on the fact that there was a prehistoric ferret down his shirt, Connor decided he should probably move to avoid crushing it, and managed to turn over onto his back. The ferret-creature scrabbled frantically around his stomach, making the shirt bulge and squirm.
God, it looks like I’ve got an alien chest-burster, he thought.
Out loud he yelled, “Somebody bloody help me.”
“Stephen, get ready to catch it,” Ryan ordered.
He dropped to his knees at Connor’s side. Stephen took position on his other side. Ryan grabbed a handful of Connor’s shirt in both hands, and in one fluid movement ripped it apart in an explosion of stitching and buttons. The ferret-creature squealed and made a desperate bid for freedom. Stephen pounced, a blur of lightning reflexes and grabbing hands.
“I’ve got it,” Stephen yelled triumphantly, somehow managing to get to his knees in the mud even while he held the struggling creature firmly in both hands. Abby appeared with a blanket, and quickly wrapped the ferret-creature up in it.
“Quickly, we’ve got to get it back through the anomaly,” Cutter urged, and the three of them sprinted off back through the hedge.
Connor slowly sat up, wincing as the mud squelched beneath him.
“Cheers guys. I’m okay, by the way,” he muttered.
Ryan was still standing there watching him with an amused smirk. Connor ignored him, and attempted to stand up, but his shoes hadn’t been designed with this kind of surface in mind and his feet slid out from under him when he tried to move.
“You could help, you know,” he said to Ryan after a few moments of futile flailing.
Ryan wandered over, still smiling. He ignored the hand that Connor held out, and instead moved round behind him, got his hands under Connor’s arms, and hauled him to his feet in one easy movement.
“Are you okay?” Ryan finally asked, moving a discreet distance away as Connor flapped his arms in an attempt to get rid of some of the weight of water.
“Yeah. I mean, you know, terminally embarrassed and completely out-cooled by Stephen. The usual.”
He tried to pull the remains of his shirt closed, but only succeeded in smearing more mud over his now exposed chest.
“I hear there’s a very good shower block at the leisure centre down the road,” Ryan commented helpfully.
Connor started to squelch his way back towards the anomaly, and Ryan fell into step far enough away to avoid the occasional sprays of water when Connor flailed in his sodden clothing.
“You should probably take those clothes off,” Ryan added as they walked. “You might get hypothermia or something standing around all wet like that.”
Connor stopped and glared at Ryan from under a curtain of dripping hair.
“I’m starting to suspect that this is all just a particularly unsubtle plan to get me wet and naked.”
Ryan’s answering grin said it all, really.