Characters: Connor, Nick, Danny, Bluebird, and Bob the Keeper
Spoilers: S3.10 fixit
A/N: I own nothing of "Primeval" or "Prehistoric Park" as they belong to Impossible Pictures and I make no money from this, clearly. Originally this was to be a fluff story to accompany my drawing but at the end of my drawing I discovered that ITV had canceled "Primeval" and this story was the result as I needed a season 3 fix-it. There is really only one person I can turn to for comfort so I hope this story pleases Him.
Summary: Whether modern or prehistoric, animals have been known to grieve and a baby pyroraptor named Bluebird is no exception to this.
"Not you too, please… not you…" It was all Connor could do to keep from sobbing for the pyroraptor that rested in his arms lay near death. Her eyes were half-shut and her breathing soft. Bluebird hardly had any energy left to even try and move her head. Connor ran his fingers along the raptor's downy feathers, hoping that this gentle action would comfort her. But it appeared as though the pair were both on the losing side of the battle that had begun the day that the team had gotten stuck in the past.
Tears fell on the raptor's soft feathers and quickly Connor brushed them off of her. Bluebird was hurting enough without having to deal with Connor's own grief. Carefully, so as not to disturb her rest, Connor swept back the downy headdress of the raptor. A broken, weak cry of the raptor was heard, causing Connor's heart to ache in sympathy for the creature.
"We're going to find him Bluebird, you'll see," Connor whispered, forcing a smile to his lips. "We know where Danny is at and if he is still there, we should find him quickly."
But in her despair, the little raptor opened her mouth and let out a long, mournful wail. She missed Danny. Why hadn't he returned to her? What awful evil had prevented his coming back? Not understanding that her compassionate guardian had been stranded in the past, Bluebird had no idea what to do, and so she grieved. Vividly she recalled the day that Nick and Jenny came to Danny's flat. Nick had said something about being sorry for what had happened.
Trouble was, everyone was sorry, but nothing had been resolved! Bluebird wanted her guardian home! She was supposed to be with him, guard him, and keep him safe. As a spirit guide, she had failed her brave Danny Quinn and now because of her grief, she was dying. The raptor ignored the piece of raw meat that Connor offered to her, a sharp whine emitted from deep within her throat.
"Please, Bluebird, you can't die on us," Connor begged as he brought the raptor up some so her head was lying directly against his chest. "We're going to find Danny and everything is going to get better, you'll see." He offered the meat to her once more but Bluebird just shut her eyes. A sob broke free and Connor touched the meat to the raptor's mouth. "Bluebird, you haven't eaten anything in nearly two weeks. You can't last much longer like this and you need to have your strength so that you can survive."
"She still won't eat, will she?" asked Bob the Keeper as he came up next to Connor on the bench. He glanced over at Bluebird's still form and gave a sad shake of his head. "Martha knows what that little one is feeling right now. She lost her herd as well as her sister in the ice age before Nigel was able to rescue her and bring her back here. But once she got accepted by our African elephants, Martha was just fine and her grieving stopped."
Connor kept his hand over the raptor, hoping that perhaps him being there would ease Bluebird's grief. He swallowed hard before saying, "But Martha was able to join that herd. We've put Bluebird with her family and she won't interact with any of them. If they try to be around her, she just wanders off on her own." Connor closed his eyes and let his fingers sift through the dromaeosaur's downy feathers. "Danny was right, Bluebird is a very unique creature."
"There is still so much about these fascinating animals that we have yet to learn," said Bob with a soft whistle. "And even when we think we know enough, they'll always surprise us. Some animals just cannot bear to be separated from their family and die of grief."
"We're going to find Danny," stated Connor firmly. "We're going to go into the past with Nigel and we're going to bring Danny back to this world and Bluebird will see that he is okay and all will be well again."
"I just pray that Bluebird holds on that long."
Connor looked quickly at the elder man, fear stirring within his heart at the thought of the little pyroraptor dying before they even get back. But he couldn't think like this! Danny had taught him to remain positive no matter what the circumstance was.
"Through my time working with the ARC and looking at all these different creatures, I have seen some pretty amazing things. I have seen the future; I have found that history had to be rewritten. I got taken by part of an Ancient Egyptian curse and nearly eaten by a g-rex. But nothing has astounded me more than the close bond that Danny shares with this pyroraptor. She is special in a way that I don't think any of us will ever be able to figure out. If Danny is alive, and I know that he is, Bluebird will stay alive so she can be with him."
Connor paused and let his thumb gently caress the blue feathers along Bluebird's head. He smiled softly at her. "As Bluebird is Danny's animal guide, Danny is her angel. It may sound absolutely crazy, but it's the truth. If there is hope that Danny is alive, Bluebird will feel it. She'll make it Bob, I promise."
"Smart lad you have there," said Bob, directing his attention to Nick, who had appeared on the scene as Connor was busy looking down at the raptor.
"Yes, we are all lucky to have him," smiled Nick, knowing that this was sincere. To Connor he spoke, "Come on, it's time. Let's go bring Quinn home."
Looking down at the little pyroraptor nestled in his arms, Connor gave a quiet sigh. He leaned down and whispered to Bluebird, "I once heard this from someone and it comforted me greatly. 'Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.' 'Do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has a great reward. You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised.'"
Connor held Bluebird tightly in his arms, letting his eyes shut briefly so that he could cherish this moment with her. He would not give up the hope that Bluebird and Danny would both survive this. There was nothing but hope now! Connor gently handed the weak baby pyroraptor over to Bob the Keeper before rising. Giving the man a confident smile, Connor said, "We'll see you soon, and Danny will be with us. You can bet on that."
"I pray you find him! For both of their sakes!"
Connor nodded before turning and following Nick towards the shimmering time portal. Nigel was at the front of the anomaly, a collected smile on his face. Taking in a deep breath to steady himself, Connor walked steadily towards the time portal before vanishing into it alongside Nick Cutter.
Back on the bench, Bob gently began to stroke Bluebird's feathers and instantly the heartbroken raptor began whining. Her eyes remained shut, however, as her strength waned. As the green pyroraptor with the brilliant blue headdress fell into a pitiful slumber, words chorused through her frail body: "You must not grieve so sorely, for I love you dearly still; try to look beyond earth's shadows, Pray to trust our Father's will."
The hour slowly passed with Bob the Keeper keeping a vigilant guard over the baby raptor in his arms. After Bluebird's initial crying, she had fallen into a deep sleep and had remained so even as a pair of titanosaurs lumbered on by. Perhaps it was true that there was more to Bluebird than just a late-Cretaceous era dromaeosaur. Bob gently ran his fingers through Bluebird's long blue feathers and sighed.
Just then the portal opened and Bob tensed. Perhaps remaining on the bench within the holding area had not been the smartest ideas. Since when had Nigel gone into the past and returned empty-handed? Rising, Bob held the pyroraptor close to his chest, not realizing that at that moment she was beginning to awaken. The water-like portal rippled before figures began emerging. First was Nigel and then came Professor Nick Cutter. Bob moved even closer to the anomaly.
The portal rippled again and this time Connor came through it. The youth held onto Danny as he ushered him through the portal and into the twenty-first century. Danny's hair had lengthened and the makings of a beard reigned on his face. His steps were staggered, as if hardly able to believe that they were back home again. To ensure that his friend didn't trip, Connor had Danny's arm around his shoulder and carefully guided him down the row. But as soon as Danny saw his beautiful raptor, his heart quickened and he hastened towards her.
Sensing his presence, Bluebird lifted her head and opened her eyes. Weakly she called out for that familiar scent. Danny let go of Connor and gently scooped up his raptor. "Bluebird, my Bluebird! I'm home! It's me Bluebird!"
In her weakened state, the little raptor could not recognize her guardian by his looks alone. No, she had only her sense of smell to rely on for this. She nuzzled his hand affectionately, chirping happily at his scent. Danny was home at last! She trilled happily, the feathers along her neck pricking and her headdress fanning upwards in joy. Danny buried his face in the soft feathers, weeping softly.
"Come on Bluebird, let's get you something to eat," Danny whispered as he placed a gentle kiss on the raptor's head. "Connor told me about how you weren't eating because you missed me. Well, I am here now, so you don't have anything to fear."
* * *
Three hours later, Danny continued to rest on the hospital bed, a contented pyroraptor lay in his arms. Bluebird gingerly licked Danny's fingers, removing any remaining trace of meat that she had earlier been eating. It would be a while before either fully recovered, but they had each other and when one had family, there wasn't anything that was impossible. Danny gently ruffled Bluebird's neck feathers and soon the little raptor let her head fall against his chest. The raptor sighed contentedly.
Danny softly began to sing, "Goodnight Bluebird, well it's time for bed. I hate to leave you, but I really must say, goodnight Bluebird, goodnight."
And the little pyroraptor gave her claws one last lick before shutting her eyes. She nuzzled Danny's chest, inhaling his scent and finding her spirit at ease with this calming soul. As Danny's fingers continued to caress the sweet serenity of comfort along her neck feathers, Bluebird drifted off into a perfect slumber.
"Love never ends. These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."
Psalm 126:5; Hebrews 10:35-36; "Safely Home" by Anonymous ©1986; "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" by The Spaniels ©1954-55; 1 Corinthians 13:8, 13