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19 July 2008 @ 11:59 pm
Primeval Fic: Just Comfort  
Posted to primeval_fanfic


Title: Just Comfort
Pairing/Characters: Nick/Connor
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Seasons 1 and 2
Summary: Connor shows up at Nick's house that night to comfort him (207 Post-Ep)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


It's just comfort, Nick tells himself.

He's not sure where Connor even got a key to his house. He probably gave him a spare one at some point. Maybe he sent him here to fetch something on a day he feared Helen might be hanging about.

He might face down dinosaurs, but Helen? That's a piece of the past he can't outrun fast enough.

Connor had slipped into bed beside him wordlessly and they'd automatically curled around each other as if it was just a natural extension of the affection that's come to be common between them: professor and student, hero and sidekick, man and, well he has to admit Connor's a man too. He shot down a raptor to save him and Stephen.

Stephen...

Nick's arms tighten around Connor and Connor responds in kind. He's showered since – they both have, not wanting the stench of sweat and fear and death over them – and Connor's hair isn't greasy for once. It's baby soft under Nick's fingers and he realizes that comparison comes to mind because he kind of smells like baby shampoo – too many babies in his extended family to not know that distinctive scent.

He doesn't want any reminders of how much younger Connor is – how much more innocent – because he's in his boxers and Connor is too and that's too intimate to even consider him as anything other than a grown man.

And then Connor shifts, just so, and any thoughts of him being anything other than a man fade away with the press of his slender body against Nick's.

Without that waistcoat and all on Connor's thin, too thin.

"You should eat more," Nick admonishes gently. "You're just a wee slip of a thing."

"Sorry," Connor mumbles, overly contrite.

"Nothing to be sorry over," Nick tells him, trying to catch his eye for the first time since they – and he has to think it – wound up in bed together.

"I just have this nervous metabolism, I guess." Connor ducks his head sheepishly, but relaxes when Nick gives him an affectionate shake.

"Well, we'll just have to fatten you up then," Nick joshes, trying to lighten the mood.

"Oh, no..." Connor shakes his head vigorously, a flash of terror widening his eyes. "Wouldn't want to make myself more appealing to, um..."

The unspoken word and all the painful thoughts it brings up hangs in the air and a somber fog descends on the room again, enveloping them.

Nick fancies he can hear Connor's thoughts. Can't gain any weight. Can't be slowed down. Got to train harder, work out more, be strong, be thin, be fast on my feet. Need to run, be able to run for my life. Don't want to die. Don't want to die like that.

He wishes he could tell him he'll protect him, but after what happened to Stephen - even though it was his own choice and Nick would have given his life to save England, mankind, even his ex-wife, Stephen knew Nick was really doing it for him and Stephen couldn't stand for that.

Nick knows he's the reason Stephen is dead.

It's been hours since he left the special ops team there with Lester in charge of clean up. He swore at them not to destroy any of the creatures once they were dead. There had to be a funeral at some point and he'd be damned if there was nothing left to put in a coffin because they ate him. He swore he'd make the ARC scientists slice open every last one of them and run damn DNA tests if they had to, just to make sure there was enough of Stephen to give him a proper burial.

He deserved that.

Nick? He doesn't deserve Connor's sweet thoughtful attentions nor the hero worship clear in his eyes. He feels old, tired, soiled and he doesn't want to be the one erasing the fresh look of hope in the young man's eyes.

Only he thinks he already did.

Connor's smart; he's got a good imagination. He might not have seen what those monsters did to Stephen, but he's seen enough horrors to envision it in the darkness behind his eyes.

He clutches too tightly and Connor braves it gamely, but Nick feels him wince and lets go, pushing him far back enough to give him a good look.

"Why are you here?" he asks abruptly.

For once Connor doesn't look away.

"I knew you'd be alone. You haven't got Helen anymore, you don't have this Claudia woman who meant so much to you..." His voice softens. "And you don't have Stephen." He bites his lip for a second before continuing. "I know how sad I was after my mate Tom died - after one of those things got to him. You were really good to me then and I... I guess I wanted to make sure someone looked after you when you lost your best mate as well."

Connor's hand, without the ever present fingerless glove, is delicate – almost feminine with pale graceful fingers that alight on Nick's arm. He stares at them for a few solid seconds before placing his own rougher hand over it, giving it a squeeze.

"Thank you." If his brogue is a bit thicker than normal or his eyes a little watery, it's nothing either of them will acknowledge now or later. A man's got as much right to grieve as a woman, and while Nick swore there would be no tears, he's not so sure how long Connor might hold out and if he breaks, Nick might well follow.

"You're welcome." Connor seems oddly pleased, as if Nick's thanks is all the payment he needs. It occurs to Nick that he's never told Connor he's needed, that's he's just as valuable to the team as Stephen, as Stephen was, he reminds himself.

"What do you want?" Nick asks out of the blue. "I mean... I don't know what I mean..." He shakes himself, unable to voice what he's getting at. Connor just looks confused until Nick asks again, softer, this time with his hand running down Connor's bare side and then over the thin layer of cloth at his hip. "What do you want?"

"I suppose same as you: comfort. Maybe to forget, for a while at least."

Nick nods. He can accept this. Anomalies split the fabric of time. His dead wife reappears after eight years. A mere grad student is wiser than he is.

Connor offers solace for the taking and Nick almost wants to laugh, because where else would one seek solace, but a Temple?

He buries his face in Connor's neck and just inhales deeply. He smells more masculine here: deodorant soap, aftershave, the tiniest whiff of sweat from arousal. His hand skates over Connor's hip and thigh.

"We shouldn't be doing this. I shouldn't be doing this. Not with a student."

"A student?" Connor pulls back, looking at him like he's mad. "I haven't been your student for ages."

"What?" Nick blinks in confusion. "I remember chucking your dissertation in the bin. You watched me do it!"

"You threw it out?" Connor stares at him for a few seconds, then the lines in his forehead soften as he nods in understanding. "All right then. This might be up there with the Claudia Brown thing. You never tossed my dissertation in this universe. I dropped out at the end of last term to work at the ARC full time. That was before you came out of the anomaly spouting all that stuff about the ARC never existing and all that."

"So along with the ARC coming out of nowhere, you gave up on your degree?"

Connor smiles brightly. "Not gave up on - postponed. For what it's worth you rather liked my dissertation. In fact, you said it reminded you of you when you were younger."

"I did?" Nick smirks. "I'll have to read it then."

Connor lets a little, slightly hysterical, laugh escape. "God, it never really hit me before that all these memories I have of you... To you they're not real." He pauses, marveling. "One of these days we'll have to compare universes just to see if I like this other Connor better."

"You wouldn't," Nick teases. "His hair was much greasier." He runs his fingers through Connor's hair as the younger man scowls.

"It's a look, it is. It's in. Girls like it."

"You may have noticed..." Nick's voice dips a bit lower, but stays playful. "You're not in bed with a girl."

Connor's trademark grin splits his face. "I did notice. And I noticed you didn't kick me out right off."

Nick lets out a huff of air. "Apparently you noticed that I'm kind of all alone in the world and not the easiest man to get along with. I've got no business pushing anyone away about now."

"Good." Connor slips an arm around Nick's waist. "Because I'd like to stay tonight. If that's all right," he adds, a bit of the uncertainty reappearing.

Nick slides a hand over Connor's jaw, looks at him for permission, then kisses him – soft at first, then with more ardor as Connor responds, plundering his mouth, seeking what he'd been missing for so long.

When they finally separate, Connor's breathless and their legs are entangled beneath the sheets.

"Stay."

Connor just nods, blindly accepting, then dives back in – hungry for more.

Nick strips the boxers off Connor's slim hips, then sheds his own. Their mouths and bodies come together avidly, the friction of slick tongues mirroring the friction of their bodies.

Chasing oblivion, they hunt it together, finding and falling all at once, together, in tandem – as a team, as one.

Panting, Connor lays his head on Nick's chest as Nick's fingers draw aimless shapes across his pale back.

For a moment there is peace.

And then grief returns.

Only now Nick's misery has company.

And there is peace to be found in that as well.

#
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on July 20th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC)
Confession
Wrote this months and months ago (February!), but tore my hair out trying to britpick it, despite assistance. I finally just edited out a bunch of the bits I was uncertain about so I could get it published and move on.

And then I let it sit another few months because sometimes real life gets in the way. /sigh/

FWIW I couldn't decide whether this was PG13 or R. Sex happens, but it's so freaking oblique I couldn't find any grounds for an R! I know some people make up ratings like PG16 and such, but I'm a purist. No one's come after me for using the standard rating system, so I'm sticking with it. /grins/

First post ever to primeval_fanfic so hello new readers! (Well, if there are any new who haven't seen me before posting at primeval100. ;-)

You know, I told fredbassett once I didn't see myself ever writing Primeval slash. Famous last words, eh? Hehehe

Very special thanks to beta melissima and to fredbassett and munchkinofdoom for their assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
reggietatereggietate on July 20th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
I like this story a lot, and it isn't even a pairing a generally go for in a big way (mainly because of the whole professor/student thing). You've caught the uncertainty of it just nicely, and made it make sense. I hope you'll write more full-length Primeval fics in the future :-)

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Thank you! It's a drag to have to wait so long between seasons. I'd probably write more Primeval if there was more bloody Primeval to write about! /whinges/

But yes, now that I've written something longer than a drabble that frees up all sorts of possibilities. I'm a big Nick/Claudia fan so I am tempted to just AU them into something I wish Season 2 had been. /sigh/
reggietate: coverformereggietate on July 23rd, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Yes, it is one of the problems of writing fanfic for a show like Primeval, that it hasn't very much canon to work from. But what I do find it it lends itself very readily to AUs - it's even a given in the actual series that you can rewrite evolution if you're not very careful. At least when we get next years series we'll have a slightly more respectable number of episodes to play with.

I do hope you write some Nick/Claudia, despite my favourite pairing actually being Nick/Stephen, and me actually rather liking Jenny :-)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
I can kind of see Nick/Stephen though I feel no affinity to write it. I don't get all the fic with Ryan - he'[s kind of a nobody to me. He barely has any lines on screen! Let's not even get started with Lester. LOL

But I tend to enjoy writing gen most of all so perhaps I'll dive in to a Torchwood/Primeval crossover gen fic for a longer project. With their bailiwicks crossing over? It would be easy.
reggietate: still togetherreggietate on July 23rd, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
I can kind of see Nick/Stephen though I feel no affinity to write it. I don't get all the fic with Ryan - he'[s kind of a nobody to me. He barely has any lines on screen! Let's not even get started with Lester. LOL

Stephen/Ryan has become an amazingly popular pairing, given Ryan's screentime is not huge. I enjoy reading it, but it's not one I instinctively 'see'. Nick/Stephen is rather more obvious. I think Lester grew on a lot of people - snarky characters tend to have an appeal in fandom. And the writers in Primeval are more than willing to try pairing just about anybody with anybody. Which I think is a good thing on the whole because it stops things from getting to samey or stale, and gives people more to write about.

I write a bit of gen now and then, and a smidgen of het, and even slash which doesn't have a huge amount of sex in it, as well as the more explicit stuff. I like to read canonical pairings too. There's always room for more of that sort of fic. Indeed, in some ways any pairing is really only as popular as fanfic writers make it.

But I tend to enjoy writing gen most of all so perhaps I'll dive in to a Torchwood/Primeval crossover gen fic for a longer project. With their bailiwicks crossing over? It would be easy.

I've read a number of crossovers of Primeval/Torchwood, some good, some less good. But they are two shows which are not so hard to cross, and can be fun to read. I'll certainly keep an eye out for anything along those lines that you decide to write :-)
melissima: OMGIHEARTITmelissima on July 20th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
\o/ I'm just going to curl up with My-twin-Connor in the corner, now. Nick can come too if he wants to.

I love the tender mood of this fic, and the awkward fumbliness of both of them as they try so genuinely to offer each other solace on such a very bad day. :) Lovely.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 20th, 2008 07:48 am (UTC)
Hee! I'm going to start calling you Connor every time you say Sorry!

He's sweet and lovely when he cares and so are you my dear. /squishes/
melissima: Charlie' shy smile  <lj user=darkangel41melissima on July 20th, 2008 07:51 am (UTC)
:blushes: Thank you. Er, sorry? ;-)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 20th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC)
Ach, lassie. Don't be going all Connor on me now...
athene: cutter/connordeinonychus_1 on July 20th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
Awwww, that was lovely, and so tentative and bittersweet, yet hopeful. Poor boys.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 20th, 2008 09:32 am (UTC)
Thanks. I am oddly proud of bits of this. For not having written them much I could hear their voices well inside my head and I liked it.
fredbassettfredbassett on July 20th, 2008 10:11 am (UTC)
This is lovely :) I'm glad you finally posted it. S2 pushed quite a few Nick/Connor buttons for me, which were mainly lacking in S1, and the beautifully hesitant and conflicted Nick in this was excellent, and you had the somewhat more confident Connor of S2 down to a tee.

Great to see you writing Primeval again.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! Technically I'm not writing it so much as finally getting off my arse and rewriting this one so I could finally put it out.

Yes, this is definitely S2 Connor or should I say ARC universe Connor. Nick is always Nick, but Nick post-Stephen post-Helen is what I was going for.

I'm just chuffed you thought I did well on the character voices. Nick I really wanted to preserve his brogue and just wanted to be sure I wasn't going over the top.

Thanks again for all your help on this and for dragging me into the fandom!
telperion_15: Rollercoastertelperion_15 on July 20th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
There isn't enough Nick/Connor in the world so I was so happy to see this! And it's just gorgeous - tender and sweet and a bit awkward. but so them.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! I can't believe I wrote that pairing, but I don't argue with the muse when she hands me fic! I'm glad you think I captured them well. That makes me quite proud.
Karen: primeval nick (cut)byrons_brain on July 20th, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
::sniffles:: so sweet....
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
Aww... /hands you tissues and tea/
Karenbyrons_brain on July 23rd, 2008 08:32 am (UTC)
Thank you ::hugs::
lukadreaminglukadreaming on July 20th, 2008 10:44 am (UTC)
This is gorgeous -- very sweet and very sad. I can 'hear' both of the characters so clearly.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! I live to hear the word gorgeous used to describe my writing. I've been working hard to improve it and that tells me I'm making headway! I'm doubly glad you think I got the character voices down since I haven't written much in this fandom.
lukadreaminglukadreaming on July 24th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
Very much hoping you'll write some more, in that case!
MysteriousAliWays: Primeval - Nick hugs Connormysteriousaliwz on July 20th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Sad and lovely and poignant. I'm glad you finally posted it :)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm pleased that you thought so. I appreciate you coming to read and comment on it.
simallyher: smirksimallyher on July 24th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
This was amazing, I really hope to see you write more Nick/Connor stuff. You've got the slight confusion and the hesitation that would happen. It was sweet and caring, but also dark. I really enjoyed reading it.