Author Notes: I never intended to write this, but it kept annoying me, so here we are. As I missed the s2 finale, we're ignoring that whole cliffhanger from 2x06, and the whole episode, except for the funky creature-controller thing, which I'm using. IN other words, pre episode 6 of the second series. AU. The rating is there for swearing, and then mild violence in later chapters, so don't read if that bothers you. I guess this is kinda Connor/Abby, but I'm only writing what I see from the show, and any romance will be canon, so it can probably be taken as close friends. I'll put up a warning if that changes.
Disclaimer: Don't own, etc. etc.
Abby sat on the sofa, staring at the television, but not actually watching anything. It was well into the early hours of the morning, but she didn't feel tired. It was how it had been for a couple of months now; exhausted during the day, but insomniac at night. She felt like she was moving through life as if it were quicksand, but couldn't find the strength to pull herself out. What was the use? She knew that both Nick and Stephen were worried about her. They thought that she missed their whispered comments, furtive glances. They meant well, but she couldn't put on a front just for them; she couldn't pretend like she didn't care.
Anomalies were occurring more and more, so much so that Cutter was not the only one to head a response team. He had tried to hold control for as long as possible, but with him refusing to take on another team member, Lester had insisted on a beta team. Everything had just fallen apart that day. Thinking back, Abby knew how much they had taken it for granted, but in truth, none of them had realised what had truly kept their team going.
Rex glided down to rest on the arm of the sofa, gently nudging Abby's arm with his nose. He knew, he understood, more than any of them at the ARC. He knew what it felt for the flat to be so empty, for Abby to be so focused on work that her mind went on autopilot.
A beeping from the pocket of her jeans dragged Abby out of her blank mindset. Seeing the ID, she flipped it open, "Cutter? What's up? Another anomaly?"
The voice on the other end sounded exasperated, "You picked up quickly. You were exhausted today, shouldn't you be in bed?"
"Got up for a drink of water." Abby lied easily. She knew Cutter didn't buy it, but she also knew he wouldn't push the matter; he hadn't called for a social reason.
"We found an anomaly. The other team responded."
Abby was confused, "Nick, why are you calling?"
"They found Helen."
Abby froze, her grip unconsciously tightening around the phone. Three words that hit her like a wall, "I'll be there in five minutes."
Nick hung up, turning to Stephen, "She's on her way."
Jenny and Lester were both standing nearby with the leader of the beta team, a man named Harris. "Is this a wise idea?" Jenny asked, her voice cutting through the charged air. "I can't say it's one of your best."
Both men ignored her. Stephen stepped towards the glass window that looked down into the cell below. In the room was a table and two chairs, with a handcuffed woman staring up at them. "She won't give us any answers. But we know she's here for a reason; Helen only ever lets herself get caught." Cutter spoke, "I didn't want to bring Abby into this, but I think we've got no choice."
Lester snorted, "She won't talk to her ex-husband, her ex-lover, or armed men. What makes you think she'll pay attention to your little zookeeper?"
Stephen glared at him, but Nick didn't take his gaze from Helen, "You'd be surprised."
Abby dumped her bag on the floor as she strode into the control room, "Where is she?"
Stephen looked up from his laptop, "In one of the interrogation rooms. Cutter's down there." Abby made to turn around, "Wait!"
"What?" Stephen didn't flinch at her icy tone.
"She might not have the answers, Abby. You can't expect this to fix everything."
"She took him Stephen! Of course she has the fucking answers! Am I the only one who hates this bitch? She will tell us where he is." Without waiting for a reply, she was gone.
Stephen sighed, rising to follow her, just in case she did something she'd regret. Abby had taken it harder than any of them; she had been there when it happened, and he knew she blamed herself for not doing anything. They all did.
Nick and Helen had been having quite a fun staring contest over the table when the door flew open, revealing Abby and a flustered looking guard. In two strides, the young woman had reached Helen, grabbed her by the jacket and wrenched her out of the chair, "Where is he?"
Helen crooked a smile, "You've got feistier since we last met. Sleeping with Nick yet?"
"Shut up!" The guard made to pull her off, but Nick held up a hand. If anything, Abby needed to let her emotions out, whether it made Helen talk or not, "I asked you a question."
Helen rolled her eyes over-dramatically, "How should I know? That kid of yours has more energy than I gave him credit for. I didn't plan for this. It's not my fault."
Abby let out a harsh bark of laughter, and looked like she was going to punch Helen right there, but Stephen had arrived, and pulled her off. Helen straightened her jacket, aware that all eyes were on her. Nick spoke first, "You didn't plan for what exactly?"
Helen looked at him sharply, "Don't tell me you haven't noticed?" There was silence, "Apparently I gave you too much credit."
"Stop milking it and get on with it!" Stephen spat.
"The anomalies are worsening, both the connection with the past and the future. They are also condensing. With every week they appear closer and closer to this base – you've surely noticed the shorter car drive to your monsters? Something is reaching a peak, something that shouldn't be happening. We need to fix it before you lose your time to the dinosaurs."
Nick was going to ask more, but Abby cut across him, "We're not helping you until you tell us where Connor is!"
"I don't know."
This was too much for both Abby and Stephen. Helen suddenly found herself slammed against the wall by her ex-lover, while Abby screamed, "You're the one who took him! How can you not know where he is? It's been over three months and you're only coming here now? What for? To gloat that you won?"
Helen looked up sharply, "Three months?" Abby nodded the affirmative. "Then it's already progressed further than I thought."
Stephen pressed her harder into the wall, "Get to the point Helen."
"It's been eight months since I last saw your friend. If he's not dead, then for him it may be more or less time." This revelation shocked Stephen into releasing his hold, and the others were stunned into silence. Helen continued, "I am sorry for what I did. It was honestly not my intention for this to happen. My plan had been to just leave him in the past a little way from an anomaly that would have come out in the Fens. I wanted to make you sweat a bit. Something went wrong."
They had been following up a lead on a possible anomaly at a hospital; some 'lizards' had torn apart the morgue, chomping their way through their fare share of corpses before moving onto more living fare in one of the wards. Jenny had managed to secure an evacuation of the upper floors, saying that asbestos had been found in the walls. The critical patients had been moved a nearby hospital, while all other patients were being kept to the lower floors.
"I'm just saying. I get how Rex feels. He's lonely, wants the company of the opposite sex; easy enough to relate to." Conner rambled away as he and Abby checked out the radiology room.
Abby raised an eyebrow, "Uh huh. I thought you had a date."
"I did, but every time we arrange something, another anomaly pops up! I swear the universe is conspiring against me."
Abby bit back a smile. Secretly she was glad Connor hadn't been able to properly meet up with this new woman Caroline. She wasn't jealous or anything, but there was something about the whole situation that seemed...weird. Connor was her best friend and she didn't want to see him get hurt. A crash in the corner made them both turn, Abby with her gun raised, "Can you see anything?"
Connor shook his head, "I really wish you guys would give me a gun."
Abby snorted, "I'm going to spare you the embarrassment of recounting each time we were stupid enough to give you one."
"Oh come on!"
Abby turned her head, disturbance momentarily forgotten, "Connor, you shot me!"
"With a tranquillizer gun! I said I was sorry! Like a million times – c'mon Abbs..."
Abby rolled her eyes good-naturedly, "Come on then, we should probably check in with Stephen and Cutter, see if they've found anything. Doesn't seem to be anything here."
"Uh...Abby..." The tone of Connor's voice had changed.
She whirled around. Connor was standing near the doorway, with a gun pointed at his head, held by Helen Cutter. "Gun on the floor, and hands up. Don't even think about contacting the others, or you'll see this one's brains decorating the walls."
Abby grudgingly obeyed, placing her gun on the floor, her eyes never breaking contact with Connor's. "What do you want?"
"I want Nick to wake up and smell reality. Even after his little Claudia disappeared, he still didn't get it."
"How nature works. Take this situation for example. The hunter picks off the weakest in the group." She smiled, "Tell the boys I said hi." In one smooth movement, Helen swung the gun to point at Abby, aiming at her leg. The crack of the gunshot went right off in Connor's ear, but the following cry of pain was worse. The warm barrel was once again pressed into his temple, and the hands that held his arms pulled him backwards.
"Why are you doing this?"
Helen shoved him forwards so that he was ahead of her, "You're not finding this fun?"
"Cutter's right; you're insane."
"Open that door." Connor reluctantly obeyed. It was only a supply closet, but this one was bathed in the crystalline white light of an anomaly. "Move."
Connor turned to face her, "No way in hell."
Helen sighed, but a shout from the end of the corridor caught her attention. The girl must have radioed for help, as both Nick and Stephen were running towards her, guns raised. She smiled, and waved with her free hand, before pulling the trigger with the other. The bullet impacted Connor in the shoulder, the momentum propelling him backwards through the anomaly. Blowing them a kiss, she jumped through after him. The anomaly, which had already been growing smaller, began to flicker and die. They had lost them.
To Be Continued...
Author Notes: Hope you liked it enough to keep reading, I'd love it if you'd leave a review:)