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fanfic: Breathe - athene
fanfic: Breathe

Happy birthday fredbassett.

Hope you're having a great day. I'm afraid the smut bunnies have deserted me lately, so it's mainly gen, but here, have some fic...

Title: Breathe
Author: Athene
Fandom: Primeval
Pairing/characters: Lester, Ryan, Kermit, Blade, Ditzy, Finn, Lyle. (Lester/Lyle implied, Ryan/Stephen implied)
Rating: 18
Warnings: language
Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them. Lyle and co belong to Fred.
Word count: approx 2000
Summary: Lester was going to regret being out at the anomaly site in person that day.
AN: As a rule I don’t normally write other people’s OCs, but since it’s a special occasion I thought I’d make an exception. Happy birthday Fred.



            He couldn’t breathe.

            Lester felt the panic starting to rise, and stamped on it fast. He dragged a breath into his screaming lungs, ignoring the grit and dust that burned the back of his throat and forced all the hard-won air back out with a violent coughing fit.

Something heavy was lying on top of him, and it took him a moment to realise that it was a person. Hard edges and solid lumps in pockets betrayed the fact that it was a soldier, and for a second he thought it was Lyle.

The sound of gunfire cut across his thoughts, followed a second later by the roar of something that probably didn’t belong in the twenty-first century. But both sounds seemed muted, distant. Irrelevant.

He still couldn’t fucking breathe. He managed to get his hand across his mouth and nose to keep the worst of the dust away, and then half shoved, half wriggled his way out from under the body on top of him. Body? Fuck. Once clear, he searched his pockets for a handkerchief, and tied it over his mouth and nose, and then turned his attention to the soldier.

It wasn’t Lyle, and he wasn’t dead. Lester closed his eyes and breathed as deeply as the handkerchief and the dust-filled atmosphere would let him.

“Captain Ryan?” Lester reached out and ran a hand across the back of Ryan’s head and neck. His hand came away wet with fluid, and even in the near darkness he knew it was red. The other man shifted slightly and gave a quiet moan.

“Captain Ryan.” He forced more authority into his voice. “If you can hear me, wake up. We have what you might describe as ‘a situation’.”

Ryan moved again, sluggish, but definite movement. After the first attempt, it appeared that sitting up was beyond him, so he settled for rolling over onto his back, the movement accompanied by a hiss of pain. Lester watched as Ryan opened his eyes and took in their surroundings. The collapsed masonry, splintered wooden beams and doorframes, shattered brickwork, and the fact that their only light source was a slot of blue sky in the broken remains of the roof. Ryan’s eyes finally met Lester’s and he summed up the situation with a single word.


Lester almost smiled. “I was rather hoping for something a little more eloquent, but you seem to have covered the essential points of the situation.”

Ryan almost smiled back. Then he winced again.

Lester shrugged his jacket off, folded it, and then gently lifted Ryan’s head and slipped the jacket under him as a pillow.

“You have a head injury. I’m not a doctor, I have no idea how bad it is, but I do know you’d do well not to lie there letting dirt get into it.”

The jacket was relatively new and had been a particularly extravagant birthday present to himself. Now it was just a very expensive improvised wad of gauze padding. Besides, Lester had a nasty suspicion that if Ryan hadn’t acted so quickly to pull him out of the way when the shit hit the fan, it would have been his own blood staining it right now.

A roar sounded again, louder, and a crashing somewhere beyond the confines of their derelict prison. They both turned to stare as the pile of rubble that used to be a wall seemed to vibrate, sending another cloud of dust into the air and a scattering of bricks tumbled down the precarious heap. Above their heads something cracked, and the slot of daylight shifted position and abruptly became even smaller.  

“If you have a plan for how to get out of here, I think now would be the time for it, Captain.”

Ryan activated his radio headset and spoke into the mike.


Lester couldn’t hear whatever reply there might have been, and could only sit and wait.

“Yeah, we’re alive, we-” Ryan was suddenly overtaken by a coughing fit, and Lester quickly detached the radio and held it to his own ear.

“Jon? Is that you?”

“Fuck, James, I thou....” the radio crackled static, but there was no mistaking the sound of gunfire and another animal roar, frighteningly close over the radio and eerily muted through the rubble. In the earpiece he heard a scream, and then the radio went dead.

“Jon! Jon, answer me!”

For a second it didn’t matter that Ryan was watching him panic. Nothing mattered except for the utter silence from the radio. Lester closed his eyes and tried to force away a hundred images of his lover lying bleeding, crushed, torn apart by some fucking creature that had no right to even be in this millennium. He felt the radio being gently taken out of his hand, and he let it go and wiped the sweat from his palms on his trousers.

“There’s any number of reasons why the radio might have died,” Ryan said quietly. “They’re still fighting out there. And now they know we’re alive, and that we’re in here. They’ll be coming to get us out as soon as they can.”

Lester nodded, his eyes still closed. Right now it was taking all his conscious effort just to keep breathing. Speaking was beyond him.

“Sir?” Ryan prompted after a few moments of silence.

Lester forced himself to look at the other man. “What?” He was aiming for a voice that was completely in control, possibly heading towards mildly irritated. The tiny shake betrayed the fact that he was nowhere near on either count.

Ryan seemed to be assessing him, and Lester was no longer sure exactly what sort of image he was presenting. He wasn’t entirely sure he even cared any more.

“Don’t give up,” was all Ryan eventually said.

Somehow, the simple instruction cut through Lester’s fears, and he forced himself to sit up straighter, and to unclench the fists that he wasn’t even aware he had been making.  

He looked up and around at their surrounding again. At least the dust had mostly settled now, and he was breathing easier, and he decided to take the handkerchief off his face.  

“Do you think we could get out of here by ourselves, perhaps?” he suggested. Before, he might have preferred to wait for a professional rescue team to do its job, but now he just wanted to get out as quickly as possible.

“Most of it looks too unstable,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t want to risk bringing it all down on top of us if we tried to move any of it.”

Lester had to admit he had been thinking the same thing. It was encouraging to know that it wasn’t just him being too cowardly to take a risk.

They sat in silence for a while. Lester suspected that he should be trying to keep them both talking. Ryan had a head injury, and from what little he knew of first aid, he ought to be trying watch for any deterioration in his level of consciousness, or some shit like that. But he just couldn’t think of a single thing to say. His mind kept replaying the sound of screaming over the radio, and his imagination was more than up to the task of supplying any number of images that might fit with what he had heard.  

He occasionally wondered what was going on behind Ryan’s equally stoic silence. In the grip of his fears for Lyle, it was easy to forget that Ryan’s own lover was out there as well. Out there where people were fighting and screaming and there was a creature that he was trying very hard to pretend wasn’t what he thought it was. Because a Tyrannosaurus might be extremely exciting if you were a ten year old or Connor Temple, but in reality it was something out of all their worst nightmares.

The moments when it had first appeared were already starting to blur in his memory. All he had were snapshots of images. It had come charging out of the anomaly far faster than a creature that size had any right to be able to move. Lester remembered being momentarily frozen, a fact that he was already starting to feel ashamed of. The creature had seemed to look directly at him for a second, and then Ryan had barrelled into him and dragged him into the remains of the half-demolished building seconds before the world almost literally came crashing down around them.

“You probably saved my life. Thank you.”

There was no reply, and Lester glanced up. Ryan’s eyes were closed.

“Ryan?” Lester leaned over and shook him gently. There was no response. Shit. “Ryan.”

His eyelids fluttered slightly, but there was still nothing coherent. Lester considered his options, and then reached down and cupped his hand over Ryan’s crotch and squeezed.

“Fuck,” Ryan gasped, his eyes opening immediately.

“I thought that might get your attention. And if that was an offer, I’m afraid I have to refuse. I suspect Lyle would have something to say about it.”

Ryan stared incredulously at him for a second, and then a smile touched the edges of his mouth. “Yeah, he’d probably say, ‘can I join in?’.”

Lester managed to smile back. “I rather suspect your Dr Hart might have something to say about that as well.”

Ryan gave him a slightly pained look. “Please, don’t give him ideas. The bastard’s kinky enough already.”

            Lester paused to wonder exactly how far gone Ryan must be to be even having this conversation with him. He wasn’t normally known for sharing such things in public, despite the fact that most of the lads seemed to be entirely aware of them regardless.

            Ryan glanced down, and Lester realised where his hand still was, and quickly removed it. Ryan looked back at him with a raised eyebrow.

            “You have an interesting approach to casualty care. Ditzy would probably approve.”

            There was another loud crack, and Lester moved to protect Ryan with his own body as rubble tumbled down around them and dust filled the air again. Suddenly bright sunlight burst through the wall, and the opening was immediately filled with the silhouette of a soldier.

            “They’re in here!” Kermit yelled.

            “Brace that properly, Finn. Whole damn thing could come down.” That sounded like Blade.

            “Just get them out quick,” Finn replied.

            Ditzy scrambled through the opening and was with them in moments. Lester sat back and let him work. He didn’t dare to ask why the soldier who should have been leading the rescue wasn’t with them.

            “Sir, are you okay?”

            It took Lester a second to realise the question was directed at him.

            “Yes, fine.”

            “Then go. Me and Kermit can get Ryan out.”

            Lester got to his feet, waiting until he saw Ditzy and Kermit get on either side of Ryan and help him up before he scrambled out of the opening in the collapsed wall. The daylight blinded him for a second after so long in the near darkness, and he accepted help from unseen hands to climb down from the pile of rubble and out of the way so that the others could follow. He eventually stopped and rested his hands on his knees. Now that they were out, the terror that he had been holding in check finally threatened to overwhelm him, and he felt his hands starting to shake uncontrollably.

            A black-clad figure appeared in front of him, and a familiar voice said, “Hey, you gave me a hell of a scare back there.”

            Lester looked up into the grinning face of his lover. Whatever his own expression conveyed, Lyle’s grin abruptly dropped away.

            “What’s wrong?” Lyle asked.

            For once, words failed Lester, and he simply stood up, took a step forward and let his head drop down to rest on Lyle’s shoulder. After a moment of surprised hesitation, Lyle slipped his arms around him, and Lester finally let himself breathe again.


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38 comments or Leave a comment
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fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: February 14th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my god, I had my heart in my mouth all the way through that one! The sane part of my head told me that even Little Miss Main and Kill wouldn't kill off Lyle on my birthday, but the other part of my brain was gibbering behind a cushion.

Lester's approach to casualty care was stellar, and you captured all the boys absolutely perfectly.


Thank you so much! I can't tell you how special this is, and I've just gone all teary again for the umpteenth time today.

*sniffles and hugs the nice therapod*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* I'm glad you liked it, and I hope youre having a great birthday. I was trying to write smut for you, but the smut bunnies are not being co-operative at all right now, I'm afraid.

even Little Miss Main and Kill wouldn't kill off Lyle on my birthday,

Heehee! Since I don't have any Lester icons, I felt that one was the most appropriate *evil grin*. But you're right, I couldn't do that to you on your birthday.

I've been out shopping all morning, hence the late posting, and now I'm off to read all the other birthday fic that people have posted for you. I've been particularly looking forward to Fifi's all day...
fififolle From: fififolle Date: February 14th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Lester!! Oh my!! This was amazing. Oh wow. *babbles stupidly*

“If you can hear me, wake up. We have what you might describe as ‘a situation’.”
Lester is a babe.

Lester panicking when the radio went dead was awful, well, brilliant, but you know what I mean. I was panicking by then, I can tell you.
I love their conversations.
LOL grabbing his crotch, ahahaha!
“You have an interesting approach to casualty care. Ditzy would probably approve.”
The soldiers turning up was fabulously done, and the way Lyle appeared just broke me. *huggles Lester*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was a real challenge for me writing the entire thing from Lester's point of view, because he's not a character I normally write. But once I got into it he was actually quite fun. The real problem was finding ways to maintain his humour in the situation, so I'm glad that worked.

I was panicking by then, I can tell you.

Excellent! That means the fic worked.
munchkinofdoom From: munchkinofdoom Date: February 14th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this was wonderful! The idea of Lester, stuck with the care and maintenance of a damaged Ryan in a building falling down about their ears, while an angry t-rex rants outside, was just wonderful!

But you scared me there about Lyle...
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
But you scared me there about Lyle...

Clearly I didn't get the reputation behind this icon for nothing *evil grin*.

This was originally going to be just Ryan stuck in a collapsed building on his own, and worrying about Stephen, but then I thought, 'let's add Lester to the equation', and suddenly he took over the entire story, and I'm actually quite glad he did now.
(Deleted comment)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
heehee, scary is good. And I suspect Lester would have a very practical approach to field medicine in the absence of a proper doctor.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: February 14th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
*squees and flails madly*

You should write Lester and the OCs more often if this is what we're going to get! *g* And the ending was just... *flails more*

Because a Tyrannosaurus might be extremely exciting if you were a ten year old or Connor Temple

Or me! I'd be excited! Okay, only for about a second, and then I'd be terrified, but still... *g*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
*edges away from the flailing and removes breakable objects*

Lester is one of those characters that I can't usually get into his head, but every now and then I give it a go, and I have to admit this one turned out better than I expected.

The dino was originally going to be something huge like a diplodocus, but then I figured, why not go the whole hog and have a T-rex for maximum scary danger? Because I'm evil like that. I suspect even Connor didn't stay excited about the appearance of an enraged T-rex for more than a second or two.
bigtitch From: bigtitch Date: February 14th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a really exciting fic. I love Lester's approach to consciousness-checking - I'm sure it'll be in all the EMT manuals soon!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
hee, thanks. He's probably been hanging around Lyle and Ditzy too long if he's picked up tricks like that.
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: February 14th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, this is fabulous! I was reading this and holding my breath at the same time *g*. You really nailed both Lester and Ryan. And yay for the rescue and the reunion at the end (OK, so I sniffed a bit!)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
glad you liked. I was wondering how long I could hold out and keep people wondering about Lyle until he appeared at the end, so it's great you liked the reunion.
reggietate From: reggietate Date: February 14th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was admirably tense, and you've got into Lester's head beautifully, which is not an easy thing. And awww! for the ending :-)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Lester deserved that ending after he went through all that! Maybe Lyle can take him home and make it up to him after he caused Lester all that worry.
oddegg From: oddegg Date: February 14th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG - this is fantastic! The tension is incredible and like fred I was seriously worried about Lyle there for a bit! :D

Loved Lester's take on concussion care, LOL! And the guys discussing their partners was great :)
And such a sweet image to finish with *pets scared-for-boyfriend Lester on the head* AWWWW!!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tnanks, glad you liked. But honestly, would I really kill Lyle on Fred's birthday? I did like that final image with Lester and Lyle. They deserve the occasional happy ending.
joereaves From: joereaves Date: February 14th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was fairly convinced you wouldn't actually kill Lyle, but I did think you might have done him some serious damage. This was brilliant and you captured Lester perfectly. Absolutely fantastic.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Serious damage? Me? *attempts to look innocent* *probably fails* Glad you liked my Lester, I hadn't expected him to take over the story quite that much.
knitekat From: knitekat Date: February 14th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great, awesome fic. Worried about the boys, though sure (mostly) that they'd be OK. Loved Lester's first aid skills and the final hug.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 14th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it. I have something of a reputation for killing and generally hurting characters *points to icon* so I was hoping that might help to keep people guessing, but since it was for Fred's birthday it was probably a safe bet that I wasn't going to kill anyone.
verito295 From: verito295 Date: February 15th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was brilliant. I love the tension and the suspense. Lester was awesome and his method of 'resuscitation' was.. innovative? :D
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 15th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
heehee, thanks. Writing Lester was... interesting. But Ditzy would definitely approve of his approach to first aid.
adafrog From: adafrog Date: February 16th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Great story.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 16th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
kerry_louise From: kerry_louise Date: February 16th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You aught not to scare a girl like that, geez.

Love Lester's approch to casulty care, Ditzy most certainly *would* approve - and I've a sneaking suspision Lyle and Stephen probably wouldn't have minded as much as they should have.

I reckon Fred should have a birthday every month at least so we can always have awesome fic like this... even if it did give me a momentary heart attack.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: February 17th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
There was definitely an interesting fic explosion at the weekend, there should be more birthdays like that.

I would say sorry for the scare, but I'm not sorry in the slightest *evil grin*
canadian_jay From: canadian_jay Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
"You have an interesting approach to casualty care. Ditzy would probably approve." < LOL!

Great fic. Rather scary, but great.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 3rd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked. Are you dipping in and out of my masterlist, by any chance? You seem to be commenting on completely random fics!
38 comments or Leave a comment
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