Abby Maitland hadn't bothered to pull the blankets down and crawl underneath them. Though her flat was always set hotter for Rex, the young woman was shivering. It probably didn't help things that she was still wearing the sopping wet clothes she'd come back home in. Abby had curled herself around one of the pillows, small fists clutched into the material. The zoologist was slowly beginning to realise that she should have stripped the wet clothing off hours ago, but at the time, she couldn't have been bothered to care.
Three hours. That was how long she'd spent attempting not to drown amongst creatures who'd wanted nothing more than to eat her. Three hours spent screaming her lungs out so that she barely had a voice left. Three hours that she'd spent thinking she was going to die.
Abby crushed the pillow tighter to her person.
She had dangled from the edge of a cliff and told Connor to let her go. And she'd meant it! With all of her heart she'd meant the words that she'd told him. There was no point in him dying too. She'd wanted him to let her go. She'd wanted him to live.
But, because he was stubborn as a mule, because he didn't understand a simple plea, because he had a skull thicker than anything, or maybe just because he was Connor, he'd refused.
Maybe, she told herself, it's because he loves you.
But that was impossible. Because even after three hours of swimming for her life, Connor Temple had left her standing, dripping dirty water on the floor, in the middle of their flat.
To go on a date! With Caroline!
Abby fought the urge to turn her head into the depths of her pillow and scream. Her throat really couldn't handle that right now, and Abby had done enough screaming for one day in her books.
Instead, she merely clutched the pillow tighter, and tried to close her eyes.
She couldn't quite place the hand on her shoulder or the familiar voice that accompanied it. Fragments of discarded nightmares rolled in the fog of her mind, the last bits of sleep clearing away. One eye opened, and then the other.
Connor's panicked face was gazing down at her. Abby had her arms curled around the pillow, cheek pressed against her arms. She blinked uncomprehendingly up at her flatmate. Why was he even here? Her eyes flew to the clock, and saw the green numbers blinking. It was well into the night.
"Abby," He said patiently, bending down to get closer to her level. "What are you doing?"
Abby paused at his closeness, before remembering that she was quite mad at him. She huffed. "I'm sleeping, Connor. What does it look like I'm doing?"
Connor's brow furrowed. "It looks like you're sleeping in sopping wet clothes."
Abby grit her teeth at the answer to her rhetorical question. "I don't see how that's any of your business, yeah?" You said you loved me and then you abandoned me. That makes me none of your business. Only, she couldn't mean it, not really. She looked him over for a moment – same clothes that he'd started the day in. Her blue eyes lingered on the mug of tea in his hand.
"I brought this for you," He said after noticing her gaze, but his voice sounded hurt. For just an instant, Abby felt bad: before she remembered once again that she'd been left standing while he went on a date. "These, too." Connor held out a couple of painkillers.
Abby blew out a resigned sort of sigh. "What're you doing here, Connor?" It didn't come out half as biting as she'd hoped it too.
She watched his face contort in confusion and something like hurt. "You almost drowned today. Did you think I wouldn't check up on you?"
The zoologist's softened expression did not match the harsh words that fell from her lips. "You didn't seem to have a problem leaving with Caroline." She regretted the words instantly, but could do nothing to grab them back.
"I'm not doing this with you." Connor shook his head and held the mug forward. "The last thing I said to you was stupid. I'm not doing that again."
Abby couldn't look at him right away. "Sorry." She tried to amend, still thinking that it should be him doing the apologising, but she hadn't been able to stand that horribly sad expression. She pushed herself up on shaking muscles, wincing as they strained. This was going to hurt for awhile; she knew that.
The white-blonde haired woman took the mug and the pills from him, swallowing the latter quickly, before gazing back over at him. There was a question in her blue eyes.
If he saw the question there, he ignored it. "You're going to get hypothermia." He was exaggerating, of course, but despite the flat's warmth, Abby could feel herself shivering. She closed her eyes for a moment and breathed deeply in a failed attempt to compose herself.
Quite suddenly, she felt the warmth of his hand on her shoulder. He gave a gentle squeeze. "I'll get you something dry to wear, yeah?" Abby felt him move away before she dared to open her eyes again.
"What are you doing?"
Confusion danced in his dark eyes, and he tilted his head. "I'm getting you dry clothes?"
"No," Abby shook her head in accordance with her word. "I mean ..." She sighed, and started again. "You said something to me, today, on the cliff."
He didn't try to make a joke out of it, as he had earlier. "You don't have to feel it back. I'm not asking for that."
"Why are you hanging around with her, Connor?"
His answer came simply, easily. It sounded like a young boy's answer. He was so innocent. Why couldn't he see that Caroline was going to break his heart? She'd already hurt Rex. "She likes me."
But I like you, too. The confession came unbidden and shocked her into silence.
"Sooo..." Connor drew out the word, and she looked t o him. "Are we okay?"
There was hope on his face – youthful, innocent hope that she'd tell him yes. It was the same innocence he'd said "She likes me." with.
She couldn't break it down. Not twice in one day. "Yeah, Conn. We're good."
This would be my first Primeval fan fiction. Breaking into a fandom is always difficult, but I sincerely hope that you enjoyed it. I'd be elated if you left a review/comment. Ah, and this one goes out to Agnixx, for getting into another fandom with me, and for beta-ing. And God knows what else. Early birthday present? Though this is a really early one.