By: Roguie/Danae Bowen/Sunspecops
Characters: Abby, Abby/Connor
Spoilers: Based off summary of Series 5, episode 6 and Hannah's spoilery bombshell - speculation only of course.
Warnings: Death, and lots of it.
Summary: In all the time they'd known each other, they'd not spared the time for simple things. It was hard to imagine running out of time for life, when your whole life revolved around time.
A/N: I love to kill, it's who I am at heart and I make no apologies for it. The spoilers just gave me an excuse to play.
In all the time they'd known each other, they'd not spared the time for simple things. They'd not gone out to dinner just to go to dinner. They'd not gone to a film just to spend time together. Sure, before they were officially together they'd done movies and pizza in the lounge at the flat, but that was before they were supposed to want the world to know they belonged to one another, that she was off the market and he was the luckiest geek in the known world.
In all the time they'd known each other they'd not gone on vacation; really, the Cretaceous was enough time away for them both, but real couples did things like that while Abby and Connor never made the time. They'd never walked through the surf of the incoming tide of the ocean, holding hands and watching the sun set far on the horizon. They'd never laid twisted in the white sheets of a hotel bed, laughing and covered in sweat as the glow of gentle lovemaking faded from their skin.
She never rested her head against his shoulder in comfort, she never offered gentle kisses just because she could, she never entwined her fingers with his or slipped her hand into the back pocket of his pants. They never walked down the streets of London so in love with each other that the rest of the world faded from thought.
All the never hads poured through her mind, laced with the sharp edge of regret as they stared uselessly at the glowing amber anomaly that Matt had disappeared through twelve hours prior. She was under orders to stay back, to stay out, to stay the hell away at all costs - orders coming from Matt himself before he took the unauthorized leap into his destroyed future, from Becker as he sat ten feet away, keeping a close eye on her for any signs of insanity, from Lester who could barely comprehend how pear shaped the entire mission had gone. Somewhere on the other side of that glowing ball of destruction lay Connor Temple, gone for so much longer than anyone realized. Matt was meant to save him, meant to bring him home; he'd promised and she'd listened, but twelve hours had passed and he'd not returned, with or without Connor. It had passed time to stop listening.
Even if they'd not made time for the little things in life, there was one thing they'd always do for each other, without hesitation. An angry sickness welled inside her that she'd waited this long.
She supposed, as she checked her tracking device and stepped forward through the glowing light, that she should find it odd that all she could hear as she moved towards him was the heavy sound of ocean waves in her ears. Somewhere, on the other side, she accepted that Becker was yelling at her to stop, begging with her to be reasonable, but the sound of the tide washed all that away.
His name burned on her lips as she glanced down at her tracker, watching as it flickered and adjusted to its new settings before settling in on the signal of two black boxes somewhere not far ahead. Her heartbeat faltered as she realized that Matt must have found Connor at some point, and perhaps they were trying to make it back to the anomaly site even as she stood there, about to set out into an unfamiliar landscape, the sun and vicious air already beginning to eat away at her well conditioned body.
It took only a single step forward for her to gain momentum, pulling the hood of her jacket over her head to protect from the harsh sunbeams as she moved further and further from the glowing light of her passage way home. Not long ago, she and Connor had found the thought of an anomaly comforting, it meant rescue and safety and they swore, as they crossed through the last, that had they the chance they'd never step through another one and risk everything they had. They'd lived a hard life, fighting to survive, killing to carry on, coming together in a physical form of love as a reminder that one day there would again be normality, and they'd come home. Still, the Cretaceous had been pure - pure water, pure sunlight, pure sources of everything they needed to wake the next day - a direct opposite to this world, this future where gasses flooded from volcanic cavities, where nothing lived above ground, where even the life giving rays of the sun threatened to kill.
She paused to cough into her hand, the atmosphere of this reality forcing her to struggle for much needed oxygen as she rechecked her tracker and adjusted her direction. They weren't far away from her position, though even as she picked up pace she failed to accept their location had not changed in the slightest. Further indications appeared on her tracker, letting her know well in advance that Becker was on her heels, coming for her, not far behind. She couldn't waste time so she doubled her efforts, almost running as she crossed the barren, destroyed, almost primordial landscape until she was practically standing on the signals from the missing black boxes.
Her voice was dry and cracked, breaking in the harsh heat. When they made it back to their time, when he'd healed from his time here, they needed to visit the ocean. They needed the sting of the sea salt spray, the heat of a healthy sun, and the laziness of nothing bearing down on them to tear it all away. She'd tell him she loved him, 'cause she hadn't yet. How was it possible those words hadn't passed her lips? How could she share his bed for a year and not told him? How could he always have known?
They'd walk hand in hand down the white sands of a warm beach, not the red sands of a destroyed planet that ate away at the fabric of her boots, and when he looked at her with his warm, chocolate brown eyes she'd tell him she wanted to marry him. She'd tell him that as long as they were together they could build a future of white picket fences, puppies and babies, with green lawns, barbeques and an apple tree in the garden and it would be enough to ground both their wandering souls.
She'd come out of their back door and find him laying on his back amongst the soft fragrant green grass, drinking in the heat of the summer day, not against stone and dust, huddled to try and protect his flesh from the burning rays of the destructive sun. She'd sit down beside him and rest his head in her lap, lost as he grinned up at her, warming her, melting her with the unending kindness in his eyes. They would blink and crinkle, not lay open, cold with no sight.
Laughter would escape from her throat, not this sound that echoed off the destroyed landscape, a sound so feral that it could barely be made by a human larynx. She would cry out his name with love and reverence, not this raw set of syllables formed in a scream that travelled across the land, bring her friends to her side in moments. They would pass around plates of hamburgers, bottles of beer and talk about old times, rather than checking pulses between curses pouring from desperate soldiers. When their lips touched it would be breath stealing and heart stopping, not at the demands of Becker as they tried desperately to push oxygen through Connor's body, beating on his chest to restart his stalled heart.
Abby Maitland would have one day become Abigail Temple, and knowing her sappy lump of a future husband as she did, she would have been carried across the threshold, held secure in his arms. There would have been hope and endless sunsets, dreams of growing old and grey, talks of children and grandchildren, the construction of a long and happy life.
She ignored Becker's orders as she struggled to lift Connor's weight, his body bearing down on hers as she forced them to their feet, turning them back towards the anomaly. Her steps came harder in this direction, slower, taken with more care as she struggled back towards their passage home. She's certain she snapped something awful at Becker as he tried to take Connor's weight from her, and when he backed off, returning to help his soldiers carrying Matt, she couldn't find the energy to regret.
When the anomaly came into view, tears filled her eyes. When she stepped through into their world, strength fled her body. When she collapsed and Connor came down on top of her, crushing her into the ground, forcing her breath from her lungs, she screamed incoherently until two hands gently lifted the weight from her and brought her to her feet.
She found no comfort in the embrace of James Lester, nothing he could say or do could stitch back together the fragments of her heart. When Becker and the soldiers followed with Matt's body, Lester's face fell further and he tightened his hold on the broken girl in his arms. Once, there had been a cold, cold civil servant who's concern bled more towards the care of his suit and ties than the ragtag group of imbeciles that had fallen into his care. Now, in the wake of the loss of two more, he could do nothing to help but cradle the one he'd known the longest.
He felt Abby stiffen in his arms not a minute later, closing herself off as she straightened her shoulders and turned to face the destruction that lay at the foot of the glowing portal. Her eyes grew cold, her features calm. When she had the strength to support herself, she stepped away from him and the carnage that lay in her wake as she left behind the body she'd worked so hard to pull from that future hell.
Her words were quiet, held together with a strength she didn't know she possessed as she paused ten feet away. "Yeah. I quit."
"Abby, what Connor and Matt did… nothing would've been possible without them. We owe them our lives."
She nodded purely because Becker was absolutely right. Like Stephen had from Leek, like Danny had from Helen, like Cutter had done every single day… once again Connor had saved the world. The difference was, this time Abby couldn't bring herself to care.