I don't own my darling Primeval
(Ours is a relationship of mutual love and respect!)
Some days, thought Connor Temple, as some sort of Primordial Swamp fluid dripped off the tips of his fingers, I feel like jacking in this job and becoming an accountant like Mum wanted.
Holding his hand in front of his face in pure disgust, he attempted to scrape some of the goo off himself with a swab.
"That'll have to go back to the lab for testing", Abby Maitland, ARC animal handler and Official Number One on Connor's Dream Girlfriend list, nagged him.
"I know Abby. Damn it, and there was me hoping to make a few quid selling Miracle Swamp Goo down the market on Saturday!"
Connor gave a cheeky eyebrow-waggle. "You're just too clever for me, Abby Maitland!"
Abby grinned. "Out of curiosity, what do you think Miracle Swamp Goo would actually be good for?"
Connor's cheesy salesman smile dropped just a little, but returned wider than ever, "Oh it's a tonic, a restorative, a miraculous tincture, good for what ails ya, with next to no unpleasant side effects: one spoonful of this frankly incredible Goo and you'll feel ten years younger and be two dress sizes smaller!"
Abby sniggered, "That, Connor is the most convincing rubbish I've ever heard! You'll give those clueless old blokes in the town square a run for their money!"
"Why thank you, Ms. Maitland. Should we ever be fired in spectacularly bad grace from this charming job," – Connor waggled his slimy hand sarcastically – "You will be welcome to join me in my business venture – after we get the funds for it from selling our stories to the tabloids, obviously."
"What's that about the tabloids?"
Jenny Lewis has such intelligent ears, Connor thought. She can pick up on any media related discussion within a hundred paces. Maybe she has her own version of the ADD, only for news... What would she call it?
Jenny's... Unofficial – 'cause she's always saying stuff's "off the record" - Jenny's Unofficial Gossip Surveyor: JUGS for short! And how appropriate, that top's a bit low-cut... No! Bad! Focus on the face!
Connor mentally smacked himself in the head. Jenny was speaking – and a quick glance told him that both Abby and Jenny herself had clocked his unconsciously wandering eye.
Hell, Connor thought. Absolute pigging, blithering idiotic "oh-please-kill-me-now" hell!
"Oh no no no no no no no!" Jenny, no! I didn't mean to look there – at them – at you –" Conner spread his still-slimy hands in what he hoped was a pacifying gesture. "Umm... Forsooth, mine eyes doth rove of their own accord..."
"What?" Jenny asked, trying to decide whether to settle for anger or amusement.
"It's an, um, quote. Literary reference."
Amusement had won this. "From what, Shakespeare?"
"The Simpsons actually." Connor had built a mental brick wall and was banging his head off it.
The girls broke. Abby was first to go with a snort of mirth, with Jenny following with a titter. And before Connor knew what had happened they were both shrieking with mirth.
"Ohh Connor!" Abby wheezed, "I never thought anything could be funnier than the sight of your face after getting slimed by that creature but you've topped it! And in the same day, too!"
Jenny was about to add something, but in that moment all mirth was erased from the ARC teams' faces. Sirens went off – but not the usual red flashing sirens which screamed anomaly. These were green.
"Oh bugger", Connor muttered.
James Lester surveyed his minions from the balcony in front of his office. As usual his expression was one of casual disdain.
"Alright." He said, every perfectly enounced syllable oozing sarcasm. "Which idiot has tracked some kind of infectious creature poo into the ARC?"
An – understandably - nervous looking lab technician joined him. "It seems a sample brought in by a member of the field team contains a virus which is destructive to the species from our most recent anomaly," the man stammered.
"We don't know if it'll be harmful to humans, but unfortunately the ARC shuts down in to automatic quarantine in such a situation. I'm afraid you'll all be here a while."
"Perfect," Lester groaned. "A whole night lost to the company of the Scooby Doo gang! I'll be in my office."
Perhaps it was Connor's imagination but he was sure Lester shot him a look on his way back to his office. Connor hid his hands behind his back.
To be honest he didn't know what everyone was moaning about. Quarantines could be pretty fun at times. Lester had a backup team just twiddling their thumbs at the Home Office and waiting for such an opportunity to arise, so the work was covered.
Last quarantine, Connor remembered nostalgically, he and some of the security boys had gotten a little tipsy on Cutter's secret whiskey stash, and he'd ended up winning three hundred quid at poker – until one of the security guys had started looking overly fond of his rifle, at which point Connor became incredibly generous, and returned the cash.
"Nice going Connor," Abby said, but she was smiling and her gorgeous blue eyes were glittering.
Someday... Someday I'll tell her... Wait... she's saying something! Oh God, I'm not staring at breasts again, am I? No still on her face, so what? Focus, dude, focus.
"What are you thinking Connor?"
"I was just wondering... Nah it's stupid."
"Just wondering... Do you ever consider giving this up? Going home and living a normal life with chips and tea and video games and the right amount of sleep at night?"
Abby chewed her lip. "Sometimes. When I see another innocent creature slaughtered, or a member of the team... hurt."
Abby's eyes glittered again, but with tears this time. For Stephen.
"But when I finally get home, I feed Rex, maybe play a bit of Mario Kart with you and I think I am so lucky."
"'Cause my experiences at the ARC have been amazing! I've seen things nobody else on Earth has seen! And yeah it's hard but... But it's also so amazing. And if I hadn't got involved I wouldnt've met Rex. Or the other special someone in my life..."
Connor frowned, taking the mick a bit, "I never knew you and Lester were so close."
"I mean you, you muppet!" Abby pressed her lips against Connor's cheek.
Wow. Is a peck on the cheek supposed to last that long? Her lips are really soft. Wow.
Connor broke the hug and Abby looked down coyly, then up again, blushing.
"I really wanna say..."
"Abby I'm trying to bear me soul here, what is it?"
"Your fly's down."
Kill me. Please let an anomaly open, with something nasty with teeth just waiting to kill me.
"Brilliant." Connor Temple walked away, leaving Abby trying to contain her giggles. He approached Jenny, with just one thing on his mind.
"Jenny? You know lots of middle-class business people, right? Know of any openings for an accountant?"