Pairing/characters: Connor, Lester
Warnings: occasional language
Spoilers: anything up to 3.10, and vague for series 4
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx: 825
Summary: Connor contemplates his life.
AN: Ficlet prompted by some of the things discussed in today’s Sunday chat on Denial. Angst overload.
Connor heard the sound of Lester’s footsteps in the corridor outside and hastily stifled his quiet sniffles. The footsteps paused a moment too long, and Connor held his breath until Lester moved on to his own room.
Nobody likes a cry-baby, Connor.
Connor wiped his face and tried to stop himself. If Lester did see him like this it would only confirm how much of a pathetic loser he was, like he needed to give the man any more excuses to think that of him.
He turned over onto his side and burrowed under the duvet. It wasn’t his bed. He had hoped that he would move back into Abby’s flat when they got back from the Cretaceous, but then Abby had done another one of her about-turns, and here he was, still in Lester’s spare room. He knew he should probably start looking for somewhere else before Lester started making pointed comments about his continued presence here, but that would mean living alone again, and he had never liked living alone. Even Lester was better than that.
Sometimes he wondered if this was how Cutter had felt when he came back to a changed timeline. By the time he and Abby returned everything had changed. Someone new was working the ADD, and didn’t seem inclined to give it up just because Connor was back. Sarah had taken charge of the anomaly locking device. Nobody seemed overly concerned about precisely what species of dinosaur they were facing, and if they did want to know, well, they had access to Connor’s database that had finally been fully uploaded into the ARC computers.
Connor had found himself rattling around feeling useless, and he didn’t like that either.
Why don’t you get you head out of the fucking clouds and do something useful?
Connor squeezed his eyes shut and tried to will the voice away. He had really started to believe that after all this time his step-father had finally lost the power to hurt him. That he had finally proved the man wrong about how useless and stupid he was.
Maybe he was really was stupid. Stupid to have thought that he would ever be needed, accepted, wanted by these people. Stupid to think that he deserved recognition for his talents. Stupid to think that he could have proper friends who cared about him.
It had been a nice dream while it lasted. But now Stephen was dead, Cutter was dead, Danny was lost, Jenny had gone, and Abby didn’t want him. He should have known it was too good to be true. This was his life. Failure. Rejection. Inability to ever measure up to those around him.
All he’d ever wanted was to have true friends. Was that too much to ask?
He buried his face further into the pillow and let it soak up his tears. Maybe it was time to move on again. All the things that had drawn him to the anomaly project were gone now, what the fuck was the point of staying where he wasn’t wanted or needed any more?
Even as the thought occurred to him, Connor pushed it away. He wouldn’t leave. He could never leave, no matter what. Besides, at least at the ARC there was a chance that he could find something else to contribute, he might still be able to prove himself useful. What were the chances of even that if he went elsewhere? Better this than nothing at all.
He almost didn’t hear the detector start to whir on his bedside table. He scrambled to look at it, wiping his face again and sniffing. An anomaly in the city centre. Shit.
Connor stumbled out of bed and dragged on the nearest clothes he could find, vaguely aware they still had the smell of sweat and blood from the last anomaly he had gone to.
There was a knock at the door and it opened. Connor was sitting with his back to the door, putting his boots on, and it occurred to him to be angry at the intrusion; for all Lester knew he could have been bloody naked in here, yet he still just walked straight in.
“Anomaly?” Lester asked.
“Yes. I’m just on my way.” Connor didn’t look up yet, aware of how he probably looked.
“Inconvenient timing,” Lester muttered, no doubt having noticed that it was nearly three in the morning.
Connor didn’t trust himself to speak, and surreptitiously wiped his face again.
“Connor,” Lester said, and then hesitated.
“Are you... is there anything wrong?”
He sounded almost concerned. For a split second Connor entertained the possibility of telling Lester everything, maybe over a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.
Nobody likes a cry-baby, Connor.
He drew a deep breath, pasted a smile back onto his face, and finally stood up and turned round.
“Me? No, I’m fine.”
He pushed past Lester without waiting to see if his act still worked.