A/N: So here I was reading Wilemina's fic "Scratch" (excellent, by the way) and my mind took a left at Albuquerque. I'd had parts of this running round in my mind and the two combined into… well… this. It's different, and I'm somewhat nervous to see the reaction. Hope you like!

The Suffering and the Sweetness

He was furious. Completely and utterly enraged, and for him, that was a rarity. He'd learned to keep his anger bottled up and hidden away, hiding it behind his easy manner and an even easier smile. He rarely shouted, or even raised his voice. It solved nothing, in his opinion, and moreover it had been a question of survival for him to learn how to shut down his anger before it got loose from him. A necessary skill that he'd learned in his childhood and continued to apply in his adult life. Connor was human though, and Abby had the ability to push his buttons unlike any other person. She'd pushed, and he'd succumbed, the slow burn of anger turning to an inferno that he had been powerless to cage.

He and Abby had been rowing again… had been doing so since the incident that afternoon at the anomaly site, and something inside of him had snapped. He was simply under too much stress. He was shouldering so much, and he felt as if he had to do it all alone. When Abby had started in on him, it had been too much. He'd shouted at her, and when her hand had flashed out to slap his face in response, he'd nearly lost control completely. He'd taken an aggressive step towards her, looming over her, his fists clenching so hard he heard the tendons popping in his hands. A heavy drumbeat thrummed in his ears, drowning out the words coming from her mouth... then he'd seen the flash of fear behind her . She'd been afraid... of him. His fearless Abby. It hit him like a bucket of cold water, and the anger had turned inward. He was still furious, but at himself for losing control. Abby had survived a rough childhood; she'd told him a little of it, but one thing he'd figured out all on his own was that she'd been abused. She refused to talk about it, saying she wasn't a victim and she'd not live her life as one. He knew better. Causes had effects, and Abby had been affected.

He'd shut himself inside the bathroom afterwards, fleeing in horror. Abby had left the flat shortly after he'd locked himself in, and he just knew that this was it. It was the end of them. He'd mucked it up, like he knew he would. It had only been a matter of time, but he'd held out hope that this time, for Abby, it would be different. This time, he wouldn't screw things up... let her down.

She didn't come home, and she didn't answer her phone or reply to his texts. Broken and desolate, he tried to come to terms with the fact that she'd left him. Hours later, he'd looked down at himself and finally recognized that he was still covered in dirt and blood. Numbly, he headed to the shower to wash. It was action… something to do in a time where all he wanted to do was flog himself into insensibility for being such a stubborn idiot this time around. He'd just felt so strongly that he was right. He hadn't wanted to lose her, but by arguing for her to do something that it wasn't in her to do, he'd lost her anyway.

He turned the water as hot as it would go and stepped inside the enclosure. Unbidden, images of Abby came to him in vibrant flashes. The scent of her skin, the brush of her soft hair against his bare skin, the fire in her eyes framed by her impossibly long eyelashes. The press of her soft breasts against his chest, and the sensory memory of her body moving with his was driving him mad. He missed her so much already. He leaned his head back and succumbed to the urge to sink into fantasy.

His hand traced down his chest, over his stomach and down to his heavy cock. He could pretend, at least for a moment. He stroked down the length of his shaft and began to let the sensations wash over him. He flashed on her image again, Abby's name tripping from his lips. He was almost there… his breath coming in hard erratic pants, his stomach rock hard as he strained towards release. And then he remembered.

His grip tightened, punishingly so. He set his jaw and continued, the pain inside of him so intense that he wanted, no needed to feel it on the outside. Erotic images mixed with the horrific thought of Abby leaving him… leaving him alone after all they had been through. Guilt, because he deserved it. He'd scared her, and that was unforgivable. He'd lost his temper, really lost it, and that was unforgivable. He'd let her walk out and leave him without even attempting to stop her and beg forgiveness, and that was possibly worst of all. He'd fought her, but he hadn't fought to keep her.

He continued to stroke hard; it hurt, but it was what he needed. When his body shuddered and released, he screamed out a year's frustration and pain along with it. He slammed his fists against the tile wall, another scream torn from his already raw throat, and then slid down the back wall until he was sat with his head on his knees, his arms curled tightly around his legs. He rocked himself as he sobbed, letting it out in a frustrated torrent. He'd worked so hard to stay numb and that thin veneer of ice had just shattered in one instant into a million pieces. Crying never solved anything, as he'd told Duncan. Emotions got in the way, he'd told himself, but it had been a lie. He just hadn't wanted to break apart... like he was breaking apart now. His head was clearer in the wake of it. The tears had kept coming steadily once he finally let them fall, and he vaguely wondered how long they would continue to do so. It was not just the row with Abby. That had been but a catalyst for everything else that had been burning inside of him. He thought he could take it, but he couldn't in the end. He was weak, just as his step-father had always told him… when he was out of hearing range of his mum. And just like he's always said, everything he touched turned to shit.

His hands hurt, and his cock was numb, but he had the uncomfortable realization that it would not stay that way for long. He swallowed hard as he looked at his bruised and swollen cock. He'd not even known it was possible to do this to himself. He shivered as he realized the water had gone cold long ago. He shut off the taps and sighed heavily, swiping a hand over his face. He had to find her. He toweled off quickly and dropped the towel on the floor. A wave of misery swept through him as he picked it up and draped it neatly over the rack. Abby would have words for him for leaving it on the floor. That such a thing would choke him up was mortifying, but his defenses were well and truly stripped bare.

He opened the door and started as he saw Abby stood in front of it. He hadn't heard her come back into the flat. He wondered how long she'd been there, how much she'd heard. She looked as poorly as he felt.

Her eyes widened as she took in the purplish bruises forming on his cock. "What have you done to yourself?" she asked, her voice oddly gentle.

His face heated and he dropped his eyes to the floor. He pulled the towel he'd just neatly hung up off the bar and wrapped it around his waist self-consciously. He took a deep breath and raised his head to look into her eyes. He didn't want to lose her. He'd almost lost her today, and then he'd almost lost her love. He'd reacted badly, he realized that now. Hell, he'd realized it then, but he hadn't been able to stop himself. He'd thought he had watched her die today, and when she'd sat up alive and breathing… He'd wanted to crush her to him and hold her there forever. He hadn't.

She'd seen the Metriacanthosaurus coming for her and she hadn't taken the shot. She'd dropped her other weapon, and all she had left was the nine millimeter handgun Becker had insisted she carry as a backup. The Theropod was large and dangerous, and although Becker was impressed with the EMD's performance, there had already been instances where they'd been unable to use them effectively. Abby had rolled her eyes, but taken the gun primarily to shut their friend up (as Connor figured it.)

Connor had watched with his heart in his throat as the dinosaur charged her, and he'd been ridiculously relieved when she'd drawn the nine mil. She hadn't taken the shot, instead choosing to dive behind the truck. The dinosaur had hit it full force, and the truck had tilted on its side, with Abby beneath it. Connor ran as hard as he could to reach the vehicle, certain that Abby was dead. He'd fired at the creature, the jolt of electricity knocking it unconscious.

Abby had called out from underneath, and Connor had dropped to his knees in relief. The arrival of the rest of the team made quick work of righting the vehicle, and Abby had sat up, dazed but unharmed save for a nasty bruise on her forehead and a scratch on her cheek. She'd been luck enough to have fallen into a depression; it was the only thing that had saved her from being crushed. He'd seen her lying there, and instead of acting on his impulse to hold her, he'd shouted at her. He'd chastised her for choosing the dinosaur's life over her own. They'd had too many close calls, and this was the second time in as many weeks that he'd thought she was dead. He'd reacted badly, and she'd lit into him with an unholy fire that was all Abby.

It had gotten worse, until this had happened. Now he had to try to make it right, somehow. How the hell was he to do that? Well, he could start by doing what he should have done in the first place. He seized Abby and pulled her to him tightly. After a moment, her arms came around him, and she hugged him back just as tightly. She had trouble expressing how she felt, he knew that… it was enough that he knew she loved him.

"I didn't mean to shout at you, Abby. These last few weeks… I…" he shook his head viciously, trying to order his thoughts, "I've been… stressed."

Abby nodded, not moving from his embrace. "Something's going on that you aren't telling me," she gently accused.

Connor hugged her tighter, "Yes. I'm not to tell anyone, even you… but it's tearing me… us… apart, Abby and I can't-" his throat closed, choking off the words before he could speak them.

Abby shushed him like she would a wounded animal, stroking his hair and letting him cry against her. He took a deep shuddering breath and tried to compose himself so he could speak again.

"Will you tell me?" she asked softly before he had a chance to speak.

He nodded, "Yes. I'll tell you everything. I should have never tried… I'm sorry I-" Abby broke away and looked deeply into his eyes, searching for what, he wasn't sure.

She shook her head briefly, "We are moving forward, okay? Just tell me."

He told her everything that night,. It took a long time, and she'd grown upset with what he'd gotten himself into, but she'd been quick to tell him she supported him, if not his choices. She'd said that he was a good man, and he only saw the good in people sometimes, and not the bad, but he disagreed. He'd seen Helen for what she was, but he did believe that people were essentially good. Abby had argued against that, but ended up saying she was just worried he was going to be hurt. He assured her he could handle it, especially now that he had her in on it. One thing she'd been right about… he was crap at lying, and it felt wrong.

When they lay down to sleep that night, Abby lay cradled in his arms and he felt peace for the first time in a very long time. They'd become an inseparable team, he and Abby, and he should have trusted in that. He'd strongly regretted his violent wanking earlier in the night. Not only was he horribly embarrassed, but he'd wanted to make love to Abby, and when he'd got hard he'd nearly cried out with the pain of it. He'd had to be content to just hold her, but it was hard to sleep when he had her soft and warm in his arms. He'd had to think un-sexy thoughts at an outrageous level, although the pain involved with each rising erection helped. He had finally fallen asleep, thanks to trying to recite Pi as many digits as he could, and he'd written a new security protocol entirely in his head.

It had been almost two weeks, and Abby, bless her, had been very sweet about his... injury. She hadn't asked, and he hadn't volunteered exactly what had happened, but it was not like it was that difficult to suss out what had occurred. She'd looked at him speculatively, was all, studying the bruises on his cock and commenting that he likely hadn't done any permanent damage. She had remarked that she'd be very cross with him if he had. For Abby, that was tantamount to saying she was going to miss shagging him terribly. He'd been ridiculously pleased.

The bruises were still present, but very faint. He still avoided erections like the plague, but living with Abby, he might as well pluck his eyes out of his head. He swore she was tormenting him on purpose. He was in their kitchen making a bit of toast for breakfast when she breezed by in her knickers and vest. He walked straight into the worktop as he caught a glimpse, causing him to cry out at the brief stab of pain as his hip slammed into the corner. Abby paused, grinned at him and continued on into the bedroom. He gripped the worktop, his knuckles going white at the surge of lust that ripped through him. He'd gotten almost instantly hard before he could try to suppress the reaction. He braced himself for the pain of it, and it didn't come.

He grinned and looked down at himself, "Oh thank god! You're back!"

Toast forgotten, he raced after Abby, shedding his boxers as he went. She was sat on the bed, in the process of pulling on a pair of trousers. He growled low in his throat and pushed her back flat on the bed, tugging her trousers back off casually before crawling over top of her, divesting her of her little top in the process. Her eyes widened in confusion for a moment, and he pressed his rock hard erection against her as his answer.

She smiled, slow and sensually wicked, "All better?"

He gave a breathless laugh, "Close enough."

He cradled her face in his hands and stared into her eyes before closing the distance between them. He kissed her deeply, hungrily. The instant his lips had brushed hers, need had consumed him to the point where slow and tender was out of the question. Her hands were clawing at his back as he placed wet open-mouthed kisses down the line of her throat, across her lightly freckled chest and then to her pert breasts. He laved them with his tongue, delighting in the feel of her flesh in his mouth. He knew what she liked, and he was determined to give it to her. She moaned and arched into him; one hand tunneled into his hair and held her to him. It seemed she'd missed this as much as he had.

Connor traced her curves with his hands and mouth; he worshiped her with his body, trying to give her all that he had. He knelt in front of the bed, wedging his shoulders in between her thighs. Abby was wet already, and a fresh surge of lust swelled inside of him at the sight and scent of her so ready for him. He kissed her inner thigh and then spread her folds open and licked from the base of her opening to her hard little clit. She moaned softly and it took every bit of restraint inside of him to keep himself from slipping inside of her right then. He flicked her little bud with the tip of his tongue, and sucked gently to wrench another of those soft breathy moans from her. His cock throbbed and pulsed; god he wasn't sure he could wait.

He passed the palm of his hand over her opening to spread her moisture on his hand and then reached down to grip his aching cock. He gave an experimental stroke hoping that it wouldn't hurt, though at this point the couldn't be bothered by a little thing like pain. He couldn't prevent the moan that escaped him. Abby gasped, her hand pulling on his hair urgently.

"You're touching yourself?" she asked breathlessly.

He raised his head to meet her gaze, her pupils blown wide with lust. She must have seen something matching in his gaze, because she flooded with moisture as his eyes locked on hers.

"Yes," he answered, his voice so deep and rough he hardly recognized it. He kept his eyes locked on hers as he very deliberately closed his mouth over her clit and suckled gently.

A shudder ran through her entire body, "I want to watch."

He gave her his free hand to help her sit upright on the edge of the bed, and then resumed stroking himself slowly, watching as her breath hitched to see it. He splayed his fingers apart on her mound, once more opening her lips and exposing her pulsing clit. He fed on her, long swipes of his tongue interspaced with probing thrusts to her opening… and then he'd suckle and flick her clit to bring her almost to the breaking point before backing off again. He desperately wanted to please her, and he had enough patience and tenacity to ensure that he did.

Her first orgasm hit hard and fast, her body seizing, her back arched and nipples drawn tight as she came undone for him. He'd had to grip the base of his cock tightly to prevent going off just by seeing her; a little flash of pain warned him that he was still not completely healed. He didn't care. She was well on her way to a second orgasm, and there would be at least a third if he had his way, when she gave a rough yank on his hair to get his attention.

"Now, Connor. I want you inside of me now," Abby demanded.

The fiery need in her voice all but forced his hand. He could no more refuse her when she looked this wanton and desperate than he could command his heart to stop beating. He nodded and rose, tugging her to her feet before he turned to sit on the edge of the bed. She sussed out his intention quickly and sat herself in his lap, her legs coming round him. He gripped himself and positioned himself at her entrance, clenching his jaw as he forced himself to enter her slowly so she had time to acclimate to his considerable girth. He whimpered as her inner muscles gripped him in a warm velvet embrace. She captured his mouth for a searing kiss as he sheathed himself fully inside of her.

He held her there, kissing her deeply as he tried to regain some semblance of control. Her arms held him close, her hands tangled in his hair, her legs wrapped round his waist… he wished moments like this could last forever. She began moving her hips in small thrusts against his; he took the cue and dropped his hands to her hips. He withdrew slowly, guiding her hips with his hands and then pulled her down to meet his thrust. She gasped into his mouth and broke away. She pressed her forehead to his as they began to move together. Her sighs and breathy moans washed over him as they made love, face to face. He found himself speaking to her, telling her how much he needed her, how much he loved her. She smiled her answer, pressing kisses to his face as she undulated her hips against his.

Abby cried out suddenly, her head flew back and her eyes fluttered as her inner muscles clenched and danced on his cock. Connor gasped as the orgasm he'd been holding back for far too long roared through him. He no longer had a choice, his body had made it for him. He cried out her name as they spiraled out together, nerve endings sizzling with pleasure. He felt her fingernails digging into the muscle of his back, her damp hair on his cheek… the world frozen in time, hazy yet sharp at the same time. He gave a hoarse cry as the final wave rolled through him, and then dropped his sweating forehead to rest on Abby's shoulder.

She kissed his ear, her teeth nipping briefly, "I missed that."

He nodded against her, unable to summon the strength to lift his head. "Just give me a few minutes, here and I'll make up for lost time, won't I?" he murmured.

Abby giggled and squeezed him gently. He raised his head enough so he could see her smiling. He loved her smile, and he'd not seen it often enough since… well, it had been a long time.

Her smile softened, faded into warm affection and amusement before it turned into something deeply serious and intent. She nodded, "Yeah. A lot of lost time.


A/N: This is one of the stranger smutty fics I have ever written. Oddly enough, I started writing it before I'd seen s4 episode 5. Weird, eh? Reviews are love… feed the muses?

: )