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ficlet: Fine - athene
ficlet: Fine
Reposted from today's Denial Sunday chat, with a bit more editing and an extra paragraph. Oops!

Title: Fine
Author: Athene
Fandom: Primeval
Pairing/characters: Connor, Lester
Rating: 18
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.

Connor waited.

“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.  


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39 comments or Leave a comment
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prehistoriccat From: prehistoriccat Date: June 20th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
*meep* Poor Connor ... but so him :( Settling for "something" because its better than "nothing"

*huggles all round*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
*huggles Connor*. He does seem to have a disturbingly low opinion of himself sometimes, and it seems like he's always settling for something less than perfect because it's 'better than nothing'.
mulder200 From: mulder200 Date: June 20th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah! Poor Conner! This was quite angsty.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I do like breaking the poor boy occasionally *evil grin*.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: June 20th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, poor baby!

*gathers him to bosom and huggles to within an inch of his life*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
*also huggles him hard* I blame the Denial discussion today, putting ideas like this into my head.
nietie From: nietie Date: June 20th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meep! That's so Connor, hiding his true feelings.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
he always seem to hide it when he's really hurt, but otherwise he's normally so open and everyone can tell what mood he's in. But he has got scarily good at hiding it when he's hurting.
jaynedoll From: jaynedoll Date: June 20th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Connor, I hope Lester will have that cup of tea and packet of biscuits all ready for him when he gets back.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
If Lester cared enough to notice that Connor was homeless, then maybe he'll care enough to notice that there's something badly wrong with Connor, no matter how much he denies it.
fififolle From: fififolle Date: June 20th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lester will be your friend!!!!

This is so emotive. *sniff*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! The thought of Lester being *anyone's* friend is strangely disturbing! But he defintiely needs to give Connor a hug.
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: June 20th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eek! I think this is so totally Connor -- what you see on the screen and what's going on beneath the surface are two different things!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, defintely. It's either a credit to Connor's acting, or indicative of the sad state of the rest of the team's observation skills that no one has noticed by now.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: June 20th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor lad. *huggles him* Let's hope Lester sees below the surface.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, he seemed to be the only one who noticed that Connor was homeless, so he might just notice the other stuff as well. Although it's a sad state of affiars when the rest of the team are so oblivious that *Lester* is the only one who sees these things.
reggietate From: reggietate Date: June 20th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ow! Ow! Poor Connor! Like I said in a fic of mine recently, when Lester is the most sympathetic person on your life, you know you're in trouble!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
when Lester is the most sympathetic person on your life, you know you're in trouble!

Yep, that really is a bad sign.
auntypam From: auntypam Date: June 20th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
You break Connor so beautifully dear! *hugglesConnor and you*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 20th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
hee! I'm evil, and he's pretty when he's broken. Plus, it's a blatant excuse to huggle him!
casy_dee From: casy_dee Date: June 20th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved this... poor boy. Needs hugs.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 21st, 2010 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks. Yes, he so needs a hug *hugs Connor*
rusty_armour From: rusty_armour Date: June 20th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
*SOB* This story almost made me cry! Okay, I'm hormonal at the moment, but-but still! Please say you'll write a sequel in which Lester makes Connor feel better! It doesn't even have to be in a slashy way. That cup of tea and packet of biscuits chat would work.

I think this story works as well as it does because I can easily envision these things happening when Connor returns from the Cretaceous. If he and Abby are away long enough, it would make sense that new people would step in. I could also see Abby getting cold feet once they returned home as that would make any kind of relationship "real".
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 21st, 2010 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
*passes tissues* I made you nearly cry? Awww, but also, yey!

Hmmmm, I'm pondering a sequel with that cup of tea and packet of biscuits. No promises, but I went to bed last night thinking about it and the bunny is starting to look plump and well fed (possibly it swiped the biscuits!) *grin*
knitekat From: knitekat Date: June 20th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
*huggles Connor* Poor boy and so believable. Lester's definitely noticed something and I don't think he'd kick Connor out for crying.
Wouldn't mind seeing more of this with Lester helping Connor.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 21st, 2010 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks. Yep, Lester has definitely noticed, the question is whether or not he'll push it if Connor just keeps pretending everything's fine.

I'm pondering another part to this with that talk over tea and biscuits, I'll see if the bunny co-operates.
bigtitch From: bigtitch Date: June 21st, 2010 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, *pets Connor*
Poor thing.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 21st, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, I'm horrible to him, aren't I? *evil grin*
canadian_jay From: canadian_jay Date: June 21st, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Erk! Read this in chat before I had to run yesterday and just re-read it now and... erk!

You definitely got Connor in one, I think, and oh gah! Lester! And Connor! And! *flails and wibbles*

*pulls out shippy icon on the sly*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 21st, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, flailing and wibbling! Excellent!

I'm starting to think that I need a Connor/Lester icon as well. I've given up trying to resist the pairing any more, there's no point when I'm not just reading, I'm even *writing* it these days *sigh*
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