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fanfic: A Tree For My Bed - athene
fanfic: A Tree For My Bed

This is a very late birthday fic for alyse . Sorry it took so long, *this* was the fic that wasn't behaving when I was procrastinating the other day.

Title: A Tree For My Bed
Author: Athene
Fandom: Primeval
Pairing/characters: Connor/Abby.
Rating: 15
Warnings: mostly fluff
Spoilers: 3.10
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 1900
Summary: It’s cold in the Cretaceous, and Connor makes a tempting hot water bottle.
AN: Birthday fic for alyse (sorry it’s rather late).
AN2: The title comes from a track on the Jurassic Park soundtrack by John Williams


            It was cold in the Cretaceous at night. Abby was the first to admit that she didn’t know a lot about prehistory, but somehow the dinosaur books that she vaguely remembered from childhood had always given the impression that all dinosaurs lived in hot, tropical times, and that it had stayed that way until an inconvenient ice age had come along.

            She tried to pull her sleeves down over her hands, with only limited success, and in the end wrapped her arms around herself and slipped her hands inside the jacket. It only helped a little. The truth was, it was cold and dark and uncomfortable, and Abby couldn’t sleep even if she had wanted to. There were too many noises in the trees around them, too many unknown things moving about in the undergrowth far below.

            Abby shuffled into a new position, careful not to wake Connor, but when she looked he was shifting as well, and his face twisted into a grimace of pain for a moment. There was a sharp, hastily stifled intake of breath, and then he settled again.

            It looked like the painkillers had worn off. Either that, or else his ankle was a lot worse than she had given credit for, and paracetamol just wasn’t cutting it. Neither of them had dared to take his boot off and take a closer look. Connor winced and got jumpy every time anyone or anything went near it, and Abby was too afraid that if she took the boot off, his ankle might swell up too much to get it back on again. To be perfectly honest, she’d half believed that he was playing it up for sympathy anyway. Connor was rubbish when he was ill or hurt; all whiney and attention-seeking and making out like he was on his death bed whenever he got so much as a cold. The problem was, right now Connor probably believed she was asleep, he was probably half-asleep himself, so the likelihood that he was still putting on a show in a bid for sympathy was slim, and yet he was still showing signs of being in pain.

            Abby tried not to think about what that would mean if he still couldn’t walk properly by morning.

            She hunched up a bit more, wondering if it was any warmer wherever Danny had ended up. Suddenly, and entirely out of the blue, Abby heard Connor’s voice in her head; “We should huddle together for warmth.” The memory seemed like it came from another time. She snorted. Considering where they were right then, that wasn’t entirely inaccurate. But that wasn’t what she had meant. Back then, she had been able to ignore his suggestion. He was just a silly little boy with a silly little crush. So much had happened since then, and now Abby knew that wasn’t true any more. He wasn’t, and it wasn’t.

            She glanced across at him again, and let her gaze linger in a way that wasn’t possible when he was awake, because he always got self-conscious and nervous, or else would start to show off. Now there were no defences, no show; now there was just... Connor.

            Somehow in the last few years, Abby had forgotten just how young he really was. How young they both were. Young, and yet trusted with such responsibility, vulnerable, yet brave. Their lives were a tangle of contradictions, but they had become each other’s constants.

            Abby blew on her hands, wondering briefly where the hell that load of introspection had come from. Connor shifted again, and managed to end up looking even more uncomfortable than before, and Abby realised he was shivering.

            Oh, sod this.

            She carefully uncurled herself and clambered across to him.

            “Connor?” she whispered.     

            His eyes opened immediately, flickering from confusion to fear in seconds.

            “What’s wrong? Is there a creature?”

            “No. It’s just...” Abby considered her options. “Can you lie down properly? Stretch out a bit. It’ll probably help your ankle.”

            “But then there won’t be room for you to sit,” he said quietly, his face betraying confusion again.

            Sometimes Abby found it amusing that she had to spell practically everything out to him. Now, though, she just wanted to do this before she had time to over-think the situation and talk herself out of it.

            “Just do it.”

            Connor did what she asked, taking care to keep his ankle from touching anything until he was in position to set it back down again. Abby realised he appeared to be trying to find a weird diagonal angle across the tree, leaving space where she had been sitting before. He still didn’t get it. Abby waited until he was finally settled, and then lay down next to him, slipped an arm around his waist and rested her head on his shoulder.

            She felt his sudden intake of breath as much as she heard it.

            “Abby?” he whispered.

            “It’s cold, Connor. We need to be fit to find Danny tomorrow, and we’re not going be if neither of us gets any sleep because of the cold.”

            There was a long pause, and then he let the breath out again.


            Not for the first time, Abby wondered how he managed to convey so much defeat and disappointment in a single syllable, and she felt a twinge of guilt. But right here, right now was so not the time to go there and address those issues. Right now their priority was surviving, finding Danny, and getting home, preferably in that order. Maybe after they’d done all that, maybe that would be the time to deal with the other things.

            Abby knew damn well which item on that itinerary was going to be the hardest.

            Resolutely ignoring those thoughts, Abby snuggled closer and tugged his jacket closed so that she could slip her hand underneath his soft fleece top and gain the maximum warmth. Connor hesitantly, and then somewhat awkwardly, squirmed his arm free from between them and wrapped it around her shoulders, making Abby smile a little. Now he gets it. She moved closer, pressing her face against his t-shirt and gently inhaling his scent.

            Connor was warm. Connor was safe. Connor felt right in so many ways, and in moments like this Abby knew how close she was to just ignoring her fears and going for it. It was only when they were apart, when she had time to think about all the ways that it was wrong and dangerous for both of them that she always managed to talk herself out of it, until the next time there was a spontaneous hug or a moment of shared peril.     

            Suddenly she felt Connor become tense beneath her.

            “Connor? Are you okay?”

             “Can you just stop wriggling about so much, please?” Connor’s voice sounded odd in a way she couldn’t place.

            “What’s wrong? Is it your ankle?”

            “No, it’s not the ankle that’s the problem.”

            “Then what?”

            “Can you just keep still Abby!”

            Suddenly it twigged and Abby couldn’t stop her gaze travelling down his chest and stopping at the bulge in his too-tight jeans.



            Abby lifted her head so she could look at his face and realised he was staring upwards into the canopy, his body held tense and utterly still.


            “I’m sorry, okay! You were right there and you were wriggling and you’re... and I’m... and I couldn’t... Sorry.”

            He looked mortified, and if it hadn’t been too dark to make out colours Abby suspected she would have seen a flushed red face.

            He breathed deeply, and still wasn’t looking at her when he spoke again.

            “Maybe you should just go back to the other side of the tree. This probably isn’t such a good idea.”

            Abby was tempted. This was treading a fine line between hilariously funny and far too awkward, and it was obvious which side of the line Connor had already fallen on. But at the same time, it was too damn cold. If it came to choice between being too exhausted to do anything in the morning because it was too cold to sleep, or Connor being a bit embarrassed, well, Connor’s feelings were going to have to take a back seat to practicality.  

            “No. We need to keep warm, Connor.”

            She felt his chest rise beneath her as he took another incredibly deep breath, and fall again as he let it out.

            “Maybe if I try to think of something completely unsexy, eh? Like Lester pole-dancing.”

            There was very long silence.

            “I’m going to pretend very, very hard that you didn’t just say that,” Abby said eventually, trying to keep her growing smirk under control.

            “I think I am as well,” Connor replied, and this time there was more humour and less tension in his voice, even if his other problem was still all too obvious.

            Abby let her head rest on his shoulder again and tried to get herself comfortable without wriggling too much. Amusing as it was, she also knew this probably wasn’t the best time to keep teasing him. Once she was settled his arm curled around her shoulders again.

            “So,” she ventured after a little while. “Need any help with those unsexy thoughts? Twelve times table? Reciting Shakespeare? Lester in a thong?”

            “Okay, enough with the disturbing visual places,” Connor replied, and this time she really could hear the smile in his voice. “Besides, if you’d shared a flat with Lester you wouldn’t be joking about him in underwear.”

            Abby had just got properly comfortable so she resisted the urge to look up at his face and see if he was taking the piss.

            “Not a pretty sight?” she ventured.

            “I could tell you, but he’d probably fire me.”

            “Well, once we get home you don’t have to worry about seeing Lester undressed any more. You’re coming home with me.”

            “Yeah.” He gave a soft sigh.

            There was quiet for a few moments. Abby happened to glance downwards again and also sighed, but this time it was entirely more exasperated.

            “You just followed that train of thought to a less than logical conclusion that involved me in my underwear, didn’t you?”

            “You’re not helping with the unsexy thoughts here, Abby.”

            This time he was definitely amused rather than embarrassed, and Abby had to fight the momentary urge to offer to give him a hand with his problem. Because really, a tree in the Cretaceous was so not the best place for that. That fact that that implied there might be a right place for it wasn’t quite the surprise that it ought to have been, but then, Abby was very definitely avoiding thinking about anything right at that moment.

            “So, Shakespeare then,” she suggested almost reluctantly.

            “I don’t really know any Shakespeare,” Connor admitted. “I could quote you most of Star Wars episode one.”

            “Please don’t.”

            They became quiet again and after a while Connor’s breathing became slow and even, with the occasional snuffle that implied he was finally asleep. Abby felt herself starting to drift off as well. It was a little warmer here in Connor’s arms, and he was certainly a much more comfortable pillow than a tree branch. Unbidden, a childish song suddenly appeared in her mind. “Abby and Connor sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.”

            She smiled a little. Well, maybe not the last part. But then again, if they hadn’t found a way home by then, there was always tomorrow night...



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41 comments or Leave a comment
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alyse From: alyse Date: April 5th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
EEEEEEEE! I got deinonychus_1 fic for ma birthday!

And it is adorable! Even with Lester pole dancing in a thong!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee, sorry about the Lester bit, that was what came to mind when I was trying to think of the least sexy thing imaginable (well, to Connor's mind, anyway!).
prehistoriccat From: prehistoriccat Date: April 5th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a lovely treat to come home to today ;) You can't beat a bit of Connor and Abby fluffiness. Loved it!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. I've been trying to write this fic for a month, it just stopped halfway through and I had no idea how to end it. Clearly the ending just needed snuggles and Lester in a thong!

Did you have a good weekend away then? And does this mean there might be the next part of your C/A fic? *pokes shamelessly*
head_o_rainbows From: head_o_rainbows Date: April 5th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so very them. the characters are spot on great Job.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked. I don't write this pairing from Abby's pov very often (I usually tend to go with Connor pov), so I'm glad to know it sounded right.
canadian_jay From: canadian_jay Date: April 5th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't decide whether to squee or laugh, and I don't think those will sound terribly good when combined. xD Brilliant fic! Just... brilliant!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
hee, thanks. It kept trying to go all angsty on me, I had to fight quite hard to keep it a little humourous, so yey for making you laugh.
jaynedoll From: jaynedoll Date: April 5th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was lovely, I love Abby's insights into her relationship with Connor and the slight awkwardness between them before the snuggliness.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tend to find Abby pov quite hard to get right, especially with C/A fic because she is so inconsistent in canon. Poor Connor, it did get a bit awkward for him, didn't it?
evenstar_estel From: evenstar_estel Date: April 5th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know considering Ben Miller recently posted pics of himself with nipple clamps on his Twitter, the whole Lester pole dancing/thong thing is easier to picture than you think and I'm really really disturbed by that.

Other than that, that was a very sweet and lovely ficlet and so perfectly them. I am hoping in the new series that Abby gets over herself and accepts that she already knows - Connor's the one for her.
evenstar_estel From: evenstar_estel Date: April 5th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because I can't be alone with the image in my head...

dragonfly_lilly From: dragonfly_lilly Date: April 5th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm putting my vote in for a sequel. That was adorable.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
hee, thanks. No current plans for a sequel, but I'm sure there will be more C/A fic sooner or later.
mad_arthist From: mad_arthist Date: April 5th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
sooo sweet
great fic!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: April 5th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
“I’m going to pretend very, very hard that you didn’t just say that,” Abby said eventually

Yep, me too! *g*

This was lovely - I liked them using humour to keep the awkwardness and tension at bay, and Abby finally admitting some of what she feels, if only to herself. Oh, and Connor just being Connor, of course! :)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
This fic has been half written for over a month, because I had no idea how to end it, and it kept trying to go all angsty on me instead of being a bit of fluff. I'm glad the humour worked in the end.
reggietate From: reggietate Date: April 5th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pole-dancing Lester? Abby's lucky Connor didn't fall out of the tree laughing :-) Lovely fic.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 5th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee, thanks. I've been overdosing on C/A fic this weekend, actually. It's a good job he didn't fall out of the tree! One tree in a day is enough, even for Connor.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: April 6th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Their lives were a tangle of contradictions, but they had become each other’s constants.

That sums this pair up beautifully. I loved the awkwardness in this, coupled with Abby's realisation that she wouldn't object to getting closer to Connor. This worked really well.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 6th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
This one kept trying to go all angsty on me, which seems to be the problem every time I try to write C/A these days. Series 3 has a lot to answer for!
nietie From: nietie Date: April 6th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
This could be a scene in S4 (I hope). Well, except for the bulge in the jeans of course; it's a kiddie's show after all.
But is was so in character. Loved it! :D
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 6th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL, yeah, Connor little 'problem' wouldn't be making an appearance in the show but I do hope we get to see them together in the Cretaceous and I hope it brings them closer to each other. Thanks for commenting, glad you liked.
missyvortexdv From: missyvortexdv Date: April 6th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good fic, nice tension and surrisingly sensible with it.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 6th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked.
From: madcatt82 Date: April 6th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's sweet and adorable!
(Though I was half expecting them to fall out of the tree giggling at the idea of Lester pole dancing!)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 6th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
hee, that might have given them a few more things to worry about, and Connor may end up with a phobia of trees if he falls out of another one! But at least Abby might kiss it better for him...
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: April 7th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the awkwardness between them as well as the snuggly!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 7th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'd like to see awkwardness *and* snuggly in series 4!
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