Author's Note- Sorry I seem to write so many of these short connor/abby and Stephen/ abby fics but I think that those two (four??) are really good together and it's not my fault I get permanent inspiration for these kind of stories and not much else...

Disclaimer- you know I don't own this really.

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Her blue eyes searching me for a sign that it was a joke. Her expression showing that she's desperate for it to not be true. But it is. I can't deny it. She looks up at my face and catches me watching. I look away, unable to make eye contact and she knows it really is the truth. But I can look anywhere and I can still feel her gaze, burning through me.

"Well? Are you coming?" Helen asks me. I walk towards her until I'm so close I can feel her breath on my skin.

"D'you know what I'd forgotten, Helen?" I say, "Sometimes you can be a real bitch." I shake my head at her and walk away. Then I stand back, watching Abby. She's not looking at me anymore, she's watching Helen retreat back through the anomaly, alone. I feel a slight stab of guilt refusing her offer, but I know I'd feel ten times worse leaving Nick and Abby. Even when Helen's long gone, Abby stares at the glowing shards of light. She has a sad little smile on her pretty face. I haven't known her for very long, but I know her well enough to realise that she's hurting. Because of me. I desperately want to explain- I want her to forgive me. I want to hold her close and whisper softly in her ear. I want to kiss her and have her kiss me back. But it's too late for that now. It's too late even for the explanation. She's shut me out. She won't open up again. She's hurt. Scarred. I hate it. I hate that I've lost her and can't grab her back again.

The anomaly pulses a few times, a sign that it won't hold for much longer and I'm glad. I'm so glad. It's nearly over. Or this one is nearly over. It can be forgotten and forgiven, lost in the past. Little do I know, it's very far from over.

"Where's Claudia?" Nick asks, "Where's Claudia Brown?" It is only just beginning.