Disclaimer: I don't own Primeval in any way.
Author's note: This is set after series 3, episode 8. It contains spoilers for series 2 episode 7 and series 3 episode 3, so if you haven't seen those, don't read this! Anyway. I think almost losing Jack (especially so soon after Stephen and Cutter) might've made Abby think pretty seriously about her job and the risks it entails. In this piece she's wondering if she can do it anymore, and Jenny tries to convince her to stay.
Where You Belong
"What do you think?" the man asked.
The newest member of his staff, the smartly-dressed Public Relations wizard Jennifer Lewis, looked up from her notepad and nodded.
"It's the best idea we've had so far," she said. "I think we should go with it."
"Brilliant," the man said. "Give that to the media for me, would you?" Jenny nodded.
At that moment, her phone rang.
"Excuse me a moment," she said, taking a step back and pulling out her phone. She was a bit surprised to see who was calling.
"Connor, hi," she said. "I haven't heard from you in a month. How are you? Is everybody doing okay?"
"Yeah, we're great," Connor said. "There's been some crazy stuff goin' on, but that's nothing new. Danny's doin' a great job. People miss you though. 'Specially Sarah and Abby. How's life treatin' you?"
"Brilliant," Jenny said. "My job is great. Lawrence is a very smart man. I think the media is really going to like him."
"Well, good for you," Connor said. Jenny smiled into the phone, knowing he had just punched the air with his fist to reinforce his weak enthusiasm.
There was an awkward pause, and then Connor said, "Jenny, are you busy? I mean, right now?"
Jenny glanced back at Lawrence and Jack, who were still deep in conversation. It wasn't really that important, she decided. They could always bring her up to speed later.
"No, not really," she said into the phone. "Is something wrong?"
"Well, yes," Connor said. "No. Uhm… See, I don't actually know."
"Tell me what's going on," Jenny said calmly.
"Abby didn't show up at the A.R.C. today," Connor said.
"I'm sure she has a good reason," Jenny said. "She can take care of herself."
"Yeah, I know. But she won't answer her phone. Sarah and I've called her a bunch of times, but she won't pick up. It's not like her."
"No, it's not." Jenny thought a moment. "Connor, has anything happened recently that upset Abby?"
"Well… Sort of. On Tuesday her brother sort of stole her detector and went through an anomaly to the future." Jenny gasped, and Connor hurried to reassure her. "He's okay. Got a few bruises, but nothing serious. We got him out before the predators could get to him. But it scared Abby pretty bad. I thought she was okay though. She seemed fine the past three days. I mean, Jack moved out yesterday, but I didn't think that'd set her off like this."
Jenny thought a moment, trying to figure out what on earth could possibly make Abby miss work without telling anybody. And then she knew.
"Connor," she asked quietly. "What day is it?"
"The fifteenth…" Connor trailed off, not quite sure what she was getting at. And then he realized what she meant. "Oh. It's Stephen's birthday. I can't believe I forgot!" He said something to someone on the other end, and then Jenny heard Sarah talking in the background.
"You and Sarah get back to work," Jenny said. "I'll go check on Abby."
"Jenny, you're a lifesaver," Connor said, the gratitude evident in his voice.
X X X X X
Jenny made up a quick excuse to her colleagues, and then she went out to her car. It was a short drive to Abby's flat. She had made the trip once before when Abby's car was in the shop and an anomaly appeared in the middle of the night. She had absolutely no idea what she was going to say when she got there, but she knew she had to go just the same.
She was about two minutes away from the flat when she caught sight of Abby walking down the road up ahead. She had her head down and didn't seem to be paying much attention to the world around her. Jenny pulled the car up beside her and rolled down the window.
"Need a ride?" she asked, smiling. Abby brightened a bit at seeing Jenny and shrugged.
She opened the door and slipped into the car.
"Where are you headed?" Abby asked.
"Your place, actually," Jenny said. She glanced over at Abby. "Connor and Sarah were worried when you didn't show up for work. They asked me to check on you." Abby stared out the window without saying anything. Jenny decided not to push it.
They pulled up in front of the flat and Jenny parked the car.
"You want to come in?" Abby asked.
"Sure," Jenny said.
They walked up to the door of the flat, which Abby unlocked, and then they went in. Abby turned on the lights and headed upstairs.
"Make yourself at home," she called.
Jenny sat down on the couch, looking around the flat. It was a nice place. The decor was simple and yet very distinctly Abby.
A green lizard swooped down from the top of a shelf and landed in front of Jenny, chirping up at her. Jenny smiled.
"Hello, Rex. How are you?"
"Do you want something to drink?" Abby asked, coming back down the stairs in a more casual shirt. Jenny shook her head.
"I'm fine, thanks."
Abby shrugged and got herself a glass of water. Then she went and sat on the couch beside Jenny.
"So," Abby said. "How's your new job?"
"It's going really well," Jenny said. "My colleagues are brilliant. They know exactly what they're doing. I think we're going to have a good chance in the elections."
"That's good," Abby said.
"How are things at the A.R.C.?"
"Okay, I guess. There was a raptor incident last week, but it turned out okay. Danny's doing a good job. Cutter would've liked him." There was a moment of silence.
"I went to the cemetery today," Abby said softly. "Took Stephen some flowers. It's his birthday." She trailed off, staring at the floor.
"Abby-" Jenny began.
"I don't think I can do this anymore," Abby cut in.
"Do what?" Jenny asked.
"Everything. The anomalies, the A.R.C., the creatures…" She shook her head. "I don't know if I can do it anymore." Jenny leaned forward and looked at Abby, who was refusing to meet her gaze.
"Connor told me what happened with your brother."
"He could've been killed," Abby said. "If he hadn't answered the guard's phone, we never would've even known…" She swallowed. "He's all I have left."
"I admit, it's a dangerous job," Jenny agreed. "But you love this work, Abby. How could you give it up?"
"When I first started working with Cutter," Abby said, "I was excited about all the creatures. Yeah, it can be dangerous, but nobody ever actually… died. Well, not anybody I really knew. We got hurt, and sometimes somebody was in the hospital, but nobody ever actually died." She swallowed. "But Stephen did. He knew his stuff better than anybody, but it wasn't enough. And Cutter... I used to think Cutter was invincible." She smiled a little. "Nothing ever really got to him. He always came out okay. And then suddenly he didn't. He died, just like Stephen. And then I almost lost Jack." She shook her head. "I don't know if I can do this anymore." She looked up at Jenny. "What if something happens to Sarah? Or Becker, or Danny? Or… or Connor?"
"Abby, that's exactly why you have to stay," Jenny said firmly. "You know more about animals than all of them combined. They may be able to take care of themselves, but the safest place for them on any mission is right between you and Becker." She smiled. "If you leave, who else is going to keep Connor out of trouble?" Abby rewarded her with the hints of a small smile.
"I know I'm not really the best example," Jenny said. "But trust me, you don't want to leave. You'll never get another job like that, Abby. You are an extremely talented girl, and this is one job where you can just go out there and shine. You love those creatures. And they need somebody to protect them. Who else is going to do that?" Seeing from Abby's face that she was gaining ground, Jenny kept going. "Who else is Sarah going to joke with? Who else is going to keep Connor in line? Who else is going to help him drive Becker and Lester mad?" Abby's smile widened even more and Jenny smiled back.
"Trust me, Abby," she said. "If you leave this job, you'll never find another like it. I'm alright because I'm used to that world. But you don't belong there. You belong at the A.R.C. with the others. You belong with those creatures, with those people. Yes, it's a dangerous job, and, yes, sometimes people die. But the truth is they'll still be in danger even if you aren't there. But their chances are that much better if you are. They need you. And you need them. And if Cutter and Stephen were here, they would be telling you the same thing." Abby nodded and took a deep breath.
"Okay." Rex chirped his agreement and Abby smiled down at him. "Alright, you win. I'll stay." Jenny smiled.
At that exact moment the detector inside Abby's purse started going off. She jumped up and found it, noting the anomaly's location. Then she looked at Jenny.
"Gotta go," Abby said, a look of renewed determination on her face.
She grabbed a few things she might need and stuffed them in her bag. Then she and Jenny headed back outside.
"Let me know how it goes," Jenny said, starting towards her own car.
"Will do," Abby said. "And Jenny?" Jenny turned. "Thanks."
"Anytime," Jenny said, smiling. "You can always call me if you need anything."
Jenny smiled and got into her car. Abby put her own vehicle in gear and took off. Her phone began to ring and she picked it up as she headed down the street.
"Hi, Connor. …Yeah, I know. Tell Danny I'll meet you there."
So what do you think? PLEASE review and let me know! The more reviews I get, the more likely I am to post the next Primeval fic I'm working on. :)