A/N: I do hope you like this. It is set right before "the kiss." (What is it with my stories and kisses?)

Premise is an AU, what if Jack met an untimely end?


He Would Be There

Chapter 1

Connor was stumbling over his words. He tried to speak coherently, he tried…but with Abby staring down at him with a look on her face that he had only thought he might have glimpsed before ...and his brain had short circuited. He grew frustrated with himself, mentally kicked himself as he felt this rare opportunity to tell her slipping away because he was an idiot and he couldn't form a complete sentence. Sometimes he hated himself. And then…

"Shut up." From Abby.

And she kissed him softly. He would have been happy with that light brush of lips…but then she had done the completely unexpected and had burrowed her fingers into his hair and kissed him again…soft and sweet and not like 'thanks mate' but more like…something. Like it meant something. It was beautiful and wonderful and more than he had ever imagined. And then she was gone. He couldn't help the stab of fierce joy…who knew that covering up for her self-centered pratt of a brother could gain him something like this? He just didn't want her to be hurt. He supposed he owed Jack for that.

He started packing up the rest of his equipment in a daze, wondering what the kiss meant. What he should do, if he should do anything or just let Abby tell him what it meant. Should he ask her out? Dinner or a drink or…he was out of his element. He didn't know what to do. He just knew that something crucial had shifted between them. It would never be the same…he hoped it was a good thing.

The screaming sound of sirens cut through the soporific daze he had been floating in. Sirens were never good. Concerned, he made his way towards the sound.

First he saw blood. There was so much blood…his heart clenched painfully. Where was Abby? Panicked, he strode towards the ambulance and ARC personnel standing outside the hangar. Becker was motioning people back; a blanket lay over a still form in the middle of the pool of red. Black tire marks…hit by a car? A trainer clad foot was partially uncovered. He couldn't help the sigh of relief. Not Abby.

Then Abby was there, stumbling towards the ambulance numbly. She had come at the sound of the sirens just as he did. Suddenly he knew. He recognized the trainer. Oh god…he had to get to Abby before she saw. He didn't want her to see the blood. He didn't want her to see the still form under the blanket. He didn't want her to carry the image with her…and she would.

He sprinted to her, intercepting her and grabbing her by her shoulders.

"Don't look Abby, please." He begged.

She looked up at him blankly. "Who?"

He swallowed and said the hardest thing he'd ever had to say to her. It made his earlier bumbling attempts to tell her how he felt seem easy in comparison. He didn't want to be the one to tell her. He didn't want to be in this memory that would be forever seared into her brain. He knew…he understood…but he had to do it.

"Jack." He answered.

Her face drained of color and he died a little as he saw the overwhelming tide of disbelief, and then grief wash over her. She moved past him, but he held her firm. Not fast enough. She saw the body on the ground.

"No." Abby said, her voice weak and frail.

"Sorry Abby, god I'm so sorry." Connor said, his heart breaking for her.

"But how?" She whispered.

It hadn't quite sunk in yet. She still wore the mask of stunned disbelief. He knew Abby, when it did, it would be bad. It wasn't fair. They had just got him back.

"Hit by a car…I don't know how. Just…you don't need to see, okay?" He answered.

He saw it sinking in. He pulled her to him, enfolding her in his arms. She sobbed once, the cry torn from her throat. Then she screamed, a heart wrenching bone deep scream of agony. She pounded at his chest; he let her. Her small fists landing in a series of staccato blows. Danny and Becker watched from a distance. He had shaken his head at them when they had started to come over. Abby wouldn't want that. She screamed and railed and he tried to hold her close. She didn't want to be held…she wanted to beat her fists in rage until the pain burning her alive subsided. He understood that, too.

If she needed hit someone, he would rather it be him. If it wasn't him, she would be hitting herself…hurting herself. Connor could take it, wanted to take it for her. Anything for her. She scored a blow to his jaw, one to his mouth and he tasted blood, but he took it stoically. Her anger was dimming to be replaced by desolation. Now she let him hold her.

For long moments he cradled her to his chest as she sobbed. He didn't know if he had a right to murmur words of love and comfort to her, to press kisses to her hair and hold her if she was his lover and not just his friend…but he did it anyway. She needed him, and he would be there. He would.

After she had calmed, he steered her towards Danny, his arm around her shoulder. She clung to him still.

"Danny, can someone take us home? I need to get her home." Connor asked.

He got her into the flat…she hadn't spoken. Silent, still and quiet and so not Abby. He sat her down on the couch. She stayed where he placed her. He asked if she wanted water, or tea or anything at all but she didn't speak. She stared straight ahead, her eyes unseeing and empty. He had seen that look before, and it scared him. He was going to ask her if he should stay or go, but that look on her face convinced him that he should not give her the option. He was staying.

He turned on the telly to have some noise to fill the silence. Abby didn't even seem to notice. He sat next to her and put his arm around her shoulders cautiously, carefully…but she just leaned into him a little bit. He settled into the corner of the couch and pulled her back to rest against him, his arms around her. She allowed it. He would have never dared this before, but it wasn't about anything other than trying to give comfort to the woman he loved. He had no ulterior motive; he just wanted her to stop hurting.

The dirt and grime and dried blood still clung to them both, but he was afraid to leave her alone to wash up. He closed his eyes and held her close. He was worn out and exhausted; it was no wonder that he fell asleep.

When he next opened his eyes it was dark outside. Abby was no longer next to him on the couch and he had to fight down a surge of panic. He faintly heard the shower going and relaxed slightly. That was good, that Abby was up and moving of her own volition. She was tough; she could get through this. He went to the kitchen and made tea for them both. Perhaps he could convince her to have something to eat as well.

He had drunk down his tea, and hers had long gone cold. He didn't want to interrupt her, but she had been in the shower a long time. A very long time. Another twenty minutes passed and he knew he had to go and check on her. He stood outside the door to the bathroom and knocked.

"Abby…are you alright?" He called out loud enough to be heard over the water.

She didn't answer. He called out her name again. No answer.

A trickle of cold sweat ran down his spine. A scene like this…his hand banging on the door. His mother lying on the floor, a spilled bottle of pills in her hand. He had tried to wake her but she didn't wake. The ambulance had come for her and he was glad that the dispatcher recognized that a panicked boy wouldn't have the presence of mind to ask for a paramedic to come along on the ambulance. She had lived, he had been in time…but it was a near thing. He had left her almost too long. It wouldn't happen like that with Abby. No.

"Abby, if you don't answer me I am coming in." He called, his voice hard and frightened at the same time.

No answer.

He turned the handle. Locked. He gave a sharp kick and the door swung open. She would be angry about the door, but he didn't care.

The water was running but he didn't see her behind the shower curtain. His heart seized again. He tore away the shower curtain and there she was…curled up in the tub with the freezing cold water pouring over her still form. Her eyes were clenched shut and she was sobbing. Deep, bone wrenching sobs that shook her whole body. But she was alive.

He shut off the taps and grabbed a towel to wrap her in. She was wet and naked and at that moment all he could think about was that his precious Abby was cold and broken. He tried to get her to come out of the tub but she wouldn't move. He lifted her out and sat her down on the mat. He draped a towel around her shoulders and pulled out another to dry her hair. She was so cold. He dried her off as gently as he could.

She met his gaze suddenly, her eyes finally focusing. She gave another one of those heart wrenching hiccupping sobs and buried her face in his neck, her arms coming around him. She didn't seem to realize that she was wet and naked and clinging to him, but to be honest, Connor didn't care…not then. Not in this situation. He had one of those odd errant thoughts that seemed to pop up at inappropriate times. This figures that I would finally get Abby naked and sex is the farthest thing from both our minds.

He held her until she stopped sobbing again. It was a while, but he didn't care. Whatever she needed, whatever it took. He tried to get her up and moving after her tears had stopped, but she had descended into numb immobility again. He had to get her warm, dressed, and into her bed. He wrapped her in the towels as best he could and then lifted her in his arms.

She was lighter than he would have thought. Abby was so full of life and presence and strength that she should have weighed more. She seemed to take up more space normally…she was a tiny little thing but her personality made her seem so much larger. She was tiny and delicate and easy for him to carry. Not like Cutter had been. But Abby was still alive and damn it she was going to stay that way. He just had to convince her she needed to live. He had to.

He laid her down on her bed and looked through her things for something to put on her. His face burned as he pulled out a pair of her knickers, but he figured what he had already seen was far past that. Soft flannel pajama bottoms and a vest. He's seen her wear them before…her comfortable sleeping clothes. He dressed her as quickly and as carefully as possible. If his hands were shaking and he was overly clumsy…well, Abby didn't complain. She just stared at the ceiling and it scared him.

He got her dressed and tucked into her bed. He was afraid to leave her. Connor's hoodie and t-shirt were dirty and wet from her body. He pulled them off, swiping the t-shirt over his face to remove most of the grit and grime. He took off his boots and socks, but left on his jeans. Comatose or no, Abby wouldn't appreciate waking up next to him clad only in his underpants.

He lay next to her on her bed, on top of the covers at first. He had left the small lamp near her bed on so the room wasn't left in total darkness. He shivered. Abby moved the blanket down, her small hand closing on his arm, pulling him closer. He slid under the blankets gratefully. Abby shifted and laid her head on his chest. He swallowed hard and a tear slipped from his eye. He understood. He did. He wished someone had done this for him.

He knew Abby would be angry when she snapped out of this daze. He knew it, because he knew Abby. Abby didn't want anyone to see that she had feelings, that she could be hurt. She would be enraged that he had seen her so vulnerable. It was silly. She had a tender heart; one only had to watch her with animals to see that. But that was Abby.

Until then, he was glad that she had accepted what comfort he could provide. He loved her so much that it hurt; he wished he could just take the pain away. He couldn't…but he could stay with her.

TBC


A/N: So I have a few ideas to get at Jack. I don't like him. Not one bit. I think he gets off a bit easy in this fic…it's not so much about Jack as it is Connor.

Length of this one? Hmm a couple of chapters at least I think, dependent upon interest.

Hope you like this, and if you do…please review. It feeds the muse…muse gets so hungry. Seriously, it motivates me to write. And thanks for reading :)