Slightly belated birthday fic for Fififolle. Hope you had a great day, here's some more fic.
Warnings: Smut, occasional mild language.
Spoilers: Reference to canon deaths (but it is Denial friendly fic)
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 3000
Summary: Connor is home late one night.
AN: Birthday fic for the lovely fififolle. Sorry it’s a day late, Fi, *hugs*.
Ryan was already in bed reading a book when he heard the front door open and close, quickly followed by Connor’s less than stealthy footsteps. The footsteps halted outside the bedroom door for just long enough to make Ryan wonder what he was up to, and then the door opened slowly, and Connor poked his head round.
“Where’ve you been until this time, you dirty stop-out?” Ryan asked with an amused grin.
Connor just stared at him for a several seconds. Long enough for Ryan to start wondering what was wrong. Also, there was something different abut Connor that he couldn’t quite put his finger on.
“Um, yeah. Sorry.”
“Let me guess, you and Cutter got all enthusiastic about the anomalies and you forgot the time?”
“Something like that,” Connor mumbled. For some reason he looked like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be here.
Ryan closed his book and put it on the bedside table, trying to ignore the nagging suspicion that there was something wrong. “Well, are you going to come to bed, or are you going to stand in the doorway all night?
Connor opened the door fully and came in, dropped his bag by the door, and switched the bedroom light off, leaving the only light in the room Ryan’s bedside reading lamp. Then he crawled onto his side of the bed, continuing to stare at Ryan in a thoroughly disconcerting manner.
That was when Ryan realised what was wrong.
“You’ve got your hair cut.”
“Oh, yeah. I had a bit of free time between seminars and got it done at the place on campus. Spur of the moment thing.”
Ryan reached out and ran his fingers through the short hair.
“I liked it when it was longer,” he admitted.
“It’ll grow out again,” Connor said, leaning into Ryan’s touch. He sighed quietly. “God, Ryan, I missed you so much.”
Ryan chuckled. “Stop being so melodramatic. You only saw me this morning.”
“Yeah, I suppose I did,” he said quietly.
That was when Ryan noticed something else.
“You weren’t wearing those clothes when you left this morning. In fact, I’ve never seen you wear those clothes before.” Although, Ryan realised he probably wouldn’t mind if Connor wanted to start wearing tight jeans and leather jackets more often.
“I stopped by Abby’s flat to change.”
Connor shifted on the bed until he was practically sitting in Ryan’s lap. He was still staring in that really disconcerting way, and Ryan wasn’t entirely sure if it was just the new haircut, but Connor looked somehow... older.
“Are you okay?” Ryan eventually asked.
“I know this is going to sound weird coming from me, but enough talk. Can we be kissing now?”
Before Ryan could reply, Connor closed the distance between them and proceeded to do just that, claiming Ryan’s mouth with deep, desperate kisses. Ryan was surprised, and he still couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something was wrong, but that didn’t stop him from threading his fingers into Connor’s hair again and holding him close as they kissed, his other hand sliding around Connor’s waist. Connor finally turned his attention away from Ryan’s mouth and started to trail kisses down his jaw and throat, and Ryan let his head fall back to give Connor easier access. He could talk to Connor later, find out what this was all about, but for now it just felt too good, and his cock was already well and truly interested in proceedings. His hand started to roam downwards until he was feeling Connor’s arse, and gaining a new appreciation for the tight jeans.
“God, Ryan,” Connor said, sounding somewhat breathless. “Want you. Please.”
“Take your clothes off then, you daft sod,” Ryan murmured, smiling a little as he nuzzled Connor’s face and returned his kisses.
Connor seemed reluctant to let go for long enough to remove his clothes, but eventually he did, stripping and dumping everything on the floor in record quick time. Then he was back, sprawling on top of Ryan and claiming him again, his movements becoming fast and erratic until Ryan caught hold of him and forced him to be still.
“Hey, you’re starting to worry me, Connor. What’s wrong with you tonight?”
Connor couldn’t meet his gaze. “Nothing. I’m okay. Just... I just want you, that’s all.”
Ryan knew there was more to it than that but decided not to push. He gently kissed Connor, and then flipped the duvet back to let Connor get under the covers instead of his current position on top of them. As soon as Connor looked comfortable, Ryan cuddled up close and they lay together just holding each other for a while, Ryan stroking Connor’s back in slow, gentle circles.
“Ryan,” Connor eventually sighed, his voice still disconcertingly quiet.
“What do you want, Connor?”
“I want you to... you know. Please, Ryan.”
“Turn over,” Ryan whispered.
As Connor did just that, Ryan reached for the lubricant in the drawer beside the bed and quickly slicked his fingers.
Connor was tighter than he expected, but he soon forgot about then when Connor started making soft, needy mewing sounds, and pressing back against Ryan’s fingers with an urgency that was unlike their usual leisurely lovemaking. Ryan eventually decided that Connor was prepared enough, and replaced his fingers with his cock. Connor whimpered quietly, and for a moment Ryan thought he heard something that sounded like a sob.
“Connor?” He became still, his cock sheathed deep within his lover, has hand carefully stroking Connor and holding him close.
“Ryan, please. Don’t stop.”
Ryan was almost tempted to do just that and find out what the hell was going on, but he couldn’t deny Connor when he sounded so desperate. Hell, he couldn’t deny Connor most of the time anyway, let alone when he was so obviously in need of affection and reassurance.
Ryan slowly thrust into him, letting the sensations build slowly, all the time stroking and petting him, and nuzzling and kissing his shoulders and the back of his neck. Connor’s soft, desperate whines were almost constant by the time he suddenly tightened around Ryan’s cock, pulling them both over the edge and they both came, pulsing together and gasping each other’s names.
Eventually Ryan slid out of his lover and cuddled up close behind him and wrapped his arms around him.
“Now are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” he asked quietly.
He felt Connor shudder in his arms, and then breathe deeply in and out for a few moments.
“Can you make us a cup of coffee? I think we might need it.”
“Of course.” Ryan kissed his shoulder again, and slipped out of bed and headed for the kitchen, via the bathroom to clean himself up a bit first.
While he was in the kitchen he heard his mobile phone ringing where he’d left it on the coffee table in the living room. By the time he got to it, it had rung off, and there was a text waiting for him along with the missed call.
Ryan stopped, confused. Both were from Connor. The text read, Got stuck at uni. On way home now. C U soon. The time of the text was five minutes earlier.
What the hell?
Then Ryan heard the sound of the front door closing. He was halfway to the door when he realised he was still naked, and quickly changed direction and raced into the bedroom. Connor was gone, as were his clothes and bag. Ryan pulled on a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt and raced back out onto the street. Connor was hurrying away down the road, still pulling his jacket on. Ryan didn’t give him time to get any further away, and chased him down, grabbed his arm and turned him around in one swift movement. He grabbed Connor by the lapels on his jacket and dragged him close. In the orange glow of the streetlamps he could see drying tracks of tears on Connor’s cheeks, but even that was not enough to deflect his confusion and anger.
“Who the hell are you, and what’s going on?”
“What do you mean? You know who I am,” he squeaked, his hands flapping slightly.
“No. Connor Temple was on the phone, trying to call me while you were in bed with me. So don’t make me ask again, who are you?”
“Ryan, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.... Seriously, I am Connor. Just not...” He hesitated and the flapping was replaced with a resignation. “I am Connor, but the one on the phone was your Connor.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Although Ryan was starting to put two and two together and had a suspicion he knew the answer. Suddenly it all made sense – the hair, the clothes, the behaviour.
“Ryan, please let go of me,” Connor pleaded, now starting to sound a little panicky.
“You’re from the future, aren’t you?” Ryan growled, trying not to think about the absurdity of what he was saying.
The fight went out of him and Connor slumped in Ryan’s grasp. When he glanced up and met Ryan’s eyes he looked apologetic. “I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t work that out.”
Ryan let go of him and took a step back.
“How long... no I don’t want to know.” Ryan frowned as he thought it through. There was one obvious conclusion that explained Connor’s behaviour and Ryan didn’t like it one bit. “I’m dead, aren’t I? In your time I’m already dead.”
Connor sighed. “I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t work that out, either.”
Ryan sat down on a garden wall at the side of the pavement, trying to take it all in.
“That’s why you acted like that when you first saw me. Why you said you’d missed me.”
Connor nodded. The pretence over, he looked miserable as hell.
“Bloody hell, Connor.” Ryan ran a hand through his short hair. “I don’t want to know. Don’t want to know how or when it happens.”
“I’m sorry,” Connor said.
“Why are you here? Why did you come to me like this?” He wasn’t sure whether to feel angry with the young man or sorry for him. Or sorry for himself, for that matter.
“I missed you,” Connor said in a voice so quiet it was almost a whisper.
Ryan stared at him.
“You really found a way to travel back in time to this very specific point right here, right now, just to be with me again?”
Connor opened his mouth, and then closed it again, looking thoughtful. Ryan wondered if the young man had actually just experienced one of his incredibly rare moments of tact and thinking before he said whatever was in his head, and had actually thought better of saying it out loud.
“I should probably go,” Connor eventually said. “I’m sorry, Ryan, I really am.”
Ryan waved a hand at him. “Get back to your own time.” He hesitated, and added in a softer voice, “And if you want my advice, Connor, stop moping, move on, and get on with the rest of your life.”
Connor looked like he was about to say something else, and then just turned and walked away. Ryan watched him go until he disappeared into the darkness between one street light and the next.
Shit. Ryan had always known he might die young; it was a hazard of the job, after all. But while Connor had looked older, he hadn’t looked that much older. A few years at most. If anything, the more he thought about it, the more he decided that it was only really Connor’s eyes that looked a lot older, eyes that had shed far too many tears. Ryan wondered what else he had gone through in such a short time to make him look like that.
Ryan took a deep breath. He didn’t like the thought that he was going to die in the fairly imminent future. To be honest he would have preferred not to know about it at all, to meet his death in relatively blissful ignorance right up to the final moment. He wondered if maybe the fact that he knew about it might mean there was a chance to avoid it, that he could be extra careful for the foreseeable future. Then he decided that was just stupid. He couldn’t spend the rest of his life being careful.
“Hey, Ryan.” He was dragged out of his thoughts by a familiar voice. He turned to look the other way down the street and saw Connor, his Connor, complete with floppy hair and the mismatched clothes he had put on that morning, walking towards him eating chips from a polystyrene tray. “Why are you sitting outside?” Connor paused and glanced down. “Why are you sitting outside with nothing on your feet?”
Ryan considered his options, and decided that Connor really didn’t need to know any of what had happened. He was far happier not knowing. Ryan stood up.
“I thought I heard a disturbance out on the street, came to have a look. Probably just kids.” He reached across and nicked a couple of Connor’s chips, enjoying the hot, greasy salt and vinegary flavour almost as much as Connor’s pout. “Where were you until this time, anyway?”
“Someone locked me in Cutter’s office,” he said, looking extremely disgruntled about that. “After Cutter left I was the last one there, and when I finished my research I tried to go but someone had locked the door. I was banging for ages before a cleaning lady let me out.”
Ryan wondered briefly if the other Connor had been responsible, and then shivered.
“Come on, then. It’s bloody freezing out here.”
There was no point worrying about things he couldn’t change, and Ryan decided right then to enjoy every moment he had left with his young lover. He pulled Connor in for a swift hug, and stole another chip as he steered Connor towards the front door with an arm wrapped around his shoulders.
“Knew I should have brought you a bag of chips as well,” Connor grumbled as they headed back into the house.
Connor watched from the shadows as Ryan and his younger self disappeared from sight. It was unfortunate that Ryan had caught up with him before he had chance to get away, although he had got out of the conversation a hell of a lot easier than he had expected to. He had always known Ryan had a very realistic attitude when it came to his own mortality, probably a soldier thing, Connor had decided. But even so, Connor had been surprised by his apparent acceptance of his fate, even when faced with someone who had the power to warn and prevent that fate.
Speaking of which...
Connor pulled out a small, hand held computer and double checked every detail of what he had written for the umpteenth time. It had to be exactly right – enough information to tell his younger self exactly when and where he needed to act, but not so much as to significantly alter the timeline in other ways while he was doing it. The instructions were also explicit about not revealing the information to anyone else, least of all Ryan, until the last possible moment, again to avoid further altering the timeline. When he was absolutely certain it was going to do the job, he encrypted the message and hit send. The time delay he had put on it should ensure it didn’t reach his younger self’s e-mail account until he was long gone through another anomaly.
Then Connor waited a full sixty seconds before he grinned. Apparently he still existed. Bonus!
Connor had spent a long time worrying about what might happen when he created a time paradox. One theory suggested that as soon as he tried to change a past event that he, and his own timeline, would simply cease to exist, but the fact that he was still here meant that theory was out of the window. He supposed it was possible that time might not change until the moment when his younger self opened the e-mail and read it, or maybe even not until the moment when Ryan survived. He wasn’t even sure if he would cease to exist at all, to be completely honest, that was just the worst case scenario. The best possible outcome would be if he went back home through an anomaly to his own time, and found that the timeline had rewritten itself and Ryan was waiting for him there, complete with three years of memories that Connor himself would not share. That would be quite weird, he decided, but he could put up with weird if Ryan was alive and they were still together.
Even after three years, he still missed Ryan every day, and there was an empty place in his heart that no one and nothing else could fill. He hadn’t actually meant to make contact with Ryan at all on this mission into his own past. The plan was simply to send the message to his past self and disappear again before he accidentally affected the timeline in any other ways. But he hadn’t been able to help himself; he had come to the house, hoping to catch a glimpse of Ryan, and the moment he saw him the flood of pain and memories and love had almost overwhelmed him. He knew he shouldn’t have done it, but the urge to see Ryan, to touch, to feel again was too much, and Connor hadn’t had the willpower to resist once the idea started to unfold in his mind.
Anyway, the fact that he was still here meant that he had time to do a few other things, and he thought he probably ought to get a move on with them, just in case he did suddenly pop out of existence without warning.
Connor put his computer away, and took out his anomaly opening device. There were another couple of untimely deaths that he intended to prevent while he was on a roll.