A/N: This story was written for the Primevalathon community over on LJ. The prompt from Wilde_Shade was: Can I have something creepy? Please? Pretty please? I'm a terrible person, and would adore some manipulative!Phillip. Rough non-con/dub-con would rock my pervy little world. Nothing terribly melodramatic, but dark!fic would be welcome. I love Abby/Connor though and hurt/comfort done right makes me all squishy inside. Happy/hopeful ending would be more than welcome so long as there's no cheesy sexual healing.
WARNING: This story contains violence, torture, and m/m non-con. If that is not your thing, then don't read it. However, it is still an Abby/Connor story at heart, so I hope you'll give me the benefit of the doubt. It is very clear in the story what is happening, but it is not overly porny or excessively graphic. This is a serious subject matter that I tried to address with some degree of decorum. I hope you enjoy the story. Please read and review.
Disclaimer: Primeval and its characters belong to Impossible Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended.
Abby jumped at the loud sound of the gunshot bouncing and echoing off the stone room. She'd shut her eyes as Philip's finger had closed over the trigger. She didn't feel anything? Was death this painless? Her eyes snapped open as Burton crumpled to the floor in front of her. Standing in his place, was Sir James Lester, a smoking gun in his steady, outstretched arm.
"Lester?" Abby asked in astonishment.
"I just got the arrest warrant for Burton from the minister. I had wanted to deliver it personally." Lester shrugged. "I wonder if I can bill his estate for the blood he just got on my suit?" He put the gun back in his shoulder holster. Abby looked at him puzzled. "I started carrying one after that predator attack a few years ago. I really don't like to have to rely on others for my safety."
Lester glanced down at Burton's bloody form. He had hit him with a single shot just above his right ear. Lester's eyes glided from Burton to Connor laying all too still on the floor behind Abby. He knelt next to Abby and rested his hand on Connor's shoulder. There was a sharp intake of breath from the young man and Lester pulled his hand away.
"His arm's broken. I can't get him comfortable," Abby said worriedly.
"Becker, how far out is that medic of yours?" Lester barked.
"Right around the corner from the mansion, sir. Reardon will be here in just a few minutes. We've almost found a route to you and Abby that's not sabotaged."
"Bloody hell! Becker. I got down here. What the hell is taking you so long?"
"We have more men with us than just a single individual, Lester, and we've encountered some resistance from the last of Burton's men that were still here. We're lucky, it seems Burton was on his way out and most of them were already outside. Becker's men rounded up a bunch of them when they tried to flee the compound just before that first explosion. We're almost to you. Just hang in there and let us do our jobs," Matt calmly replied. He always seemed to be able to diffuse a tense situation.
Lester took a deep breath. He got up from where he was kneeling and took up a defensive position at the doorway so that Abby could focus her attention entirely on Connor.
Abby appreciated the gesture. "How much of that did you hear?" she asked quietly, motioning to Burton's body and indicating the conversation she'd had with him before he'd been killed.
"Enough. Enough to know I made the right decision in ending him," Lester admitted.
"Is that a Walther PPK? Fancy James Bond much?" Abby asked, trying to lighten the mood.
"Let's just say MI-5 is an interesting place to spend your 20s. I was hoping for a quiet little upper management assignment when I went to the home office. Instead I end up babysitting mad scientists and dinosaurs."
"Connor showed me the CCTV footage once of you and that predator. You can be pretty badass when you need to be. "
"Remind me to dock his pay for that when he wakes up," Lester commented dryly.
"'M awake," Connor croaked. "Just trying to stay still."
"Connor, just rest, love. Help's on the way. Don't talk," Abby soothed.
Connor nodded and the movement pulled at the muscles in his arm causing new spasms of pain to shoot through his arm. Lester took his jacket off and handed it to Abby so she could cover Connor's battered body.
"Lester? How did you get down here so quickly? I didn't even know you were coming," Abby asked, still in an almost whisper.
Lester smirked a little but his gaze remained steady as he kept watch. "Later. I promise I'll tell you later. Does that satisfy your curiosity for now? Or would you like me to tell you the story instead of protecting you and Connor?
"No, I'm good for now." Abby smiled. Lester really was a mystery to her sometimes, even if he did try to pretend he didn't care.
A few minutes later Matt, Becker and the some of his men reached their location. They had cleared a safe passage to Connor's location in the basement and dealt with the rest of Burton's men. Not three minutes after that, Tom Reardon, the head ARC medic arrived to assess and transport Connor to the hospital. Connor, it seemed, had finally passed out.
Abby sat in Connor's hospital room. They had just brought him in from surgery a few hours ago and he was still expected to be out for a while. They wanted him to rest as much as possible. Becker, Matt, Jess and a handful of other well wishers had slowly filtered out leaving Abby alone in the room with him. She wiped a silent tear from her eye as she thought back over what had been explained to her about Connor's injuries and the abuse he'd sustained over the past couple of months.
How could Burton have done this to him? He'd told her he viewed Connor as a commodity, but this? This was beyond that. She should have pushed harder for them to find Connor. She should have insisted they take a closer look at Burton. Would Connor even be the same after all this? Would he ever truly recover? She'd known what it was like to be abused; her stepfather had made sure she lost her innocence early on, but Connor?
Her reverie was interrupted by a nudge to her shoulder. Abby glanced up and was surprised to see Lester holding out a coffee cup to her.
"You look like you could use a caffeine pick-me-up." Lester scooted a chair over next to her.
"Thank you, for the coffee, and for earlier. After they told me what all he'd been through and then said I couldn't stay… I…"
"I've often thought that hospital policies exist solely to increase others misery. What's the point of having government pull if you don't get to boss a few nurses around occasionally," Lester said with typical dryness.
"Do you think he'll be OK?" Abby asked in a quiet voice, almost as if she was afraid to hear his answer.
"Yes, he's got you. He'll be fine. After all, he has to be. He's got a job to do, doesn't he?"
Abby smiled. Lester was big old softie. They all knew it. None of them dared ever say it to his face except her. He smiled back at her.
"I believe I promised to tell you something."
"You're trying to distract me. But yes, you did."
"I am, and I will."
Abby looked back at Connor, he looked so peaceful. She knew it wouldn't last once he woke. She didn't want to rush that in the slightest. "All right. Let's hear it. How did you get to us before Becker and Matt and avoid Burton's men?"
"I never said I avoided Burton's men." Lester started.
Abby had a feeling he was a very good story teller. She suddenly remembered that he had kids. She wondered if he got to spend enough time with them.
Lester started speaking again. "I'd been there, to Burton's country home a few times, not often, mind you. But, he was always very secretive. When Jess informed me that Connor's message was enough for an arrest warrant, I simply couldn't resist. You lot had already left, and I wasn't about to ask you to turn around. So, I got in my own car and showed up only a few moments behind you all."
Lester smiled to himself, but then looked down at Connor and his expression became grim again. He continued, "I remembered that Burton was always very secretive about his basement. I thought maybe he was doing something illegal down there, but I had no evidence. I assumed secret research or something, not a dungeon chamber. No, I never assumed that. Burton was ruthless, but… But I never thought he was capable of this."
He glanced over at Connor again before continuing. "Burton had mentioned once that he'd made some modifications to the house, but I never knew what. I noticed, the last time I was here, that the lower floor had a storm cellar entrance. It's typically locked, but I thought I'd chance it and see. I surprised one of his men loading a van out back. He pulled a gun on me so I returned the favor and shot him first. That was when the first explosion happened. The door to the sublevel was open and unobstructed, so I went in, moving as quietly and as cautiously as I could."
Lester looked at Abby as if to gage her level of interest now that he was telling the story full out. She nodded for him to go on then turned back to watch Connor continue to sleep. "I saw Burton move in to the room I found you in, and I was going to get the drop on him sooner until I realized you two were in there. I couldn't very well come in guns blazing, I might have shot one or both of you, so I listened. I peeked around the corner twice to get an idea of where you both were in relation to Burton, then, when I couldn't wait any longer, I took the shot."
Abby turned back to Lester. "Thank you. You saved both of our lives." Abby leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
"Don't mention it. And I mean that. Don't mention it. The last thing I need is you lot begging me for stories of the old days at MI-5."
"Your secret's safe with me." Abby smiled at him again and turned back to Connor.
Connor woke with a start in a dark room. He didn't cry out, he just started to cry. His arm hurt terribly and he was so tired of being locked in that horrible room. He'd dreamed that Abby had rescued him. She'd untied him and kissed him and then Burton had shown up, then Lester. It was a strange dream. He'd wished it had stayed just him and Abby. It was nice when it had just been the two of them. He moved to curl up and gasped out a small sob as his arm moved.
"Connor?" a voice from the darkness asked. "Connor, are you awake? Do you need me to get a nurse?" Abby. Was she really here? Had all of that not been a dream?
"Please, turn on the light," Connor croaked. His voice sounded hoarse and his throat felt scratchy.
The light flipped on and the most beautiful face in the world stood next to his bed, looking down on him like a guardian angel. Abby reached her hand out and caressed his brow. She ran her fingers lightly through the edge of his hair.
"You OK?" she asked.
"You're really here? That wasn't all a dream. You rescued me?"
"Well, I had help." Abby leaned down and kissed his forehead. "They were all here, even Lester, up until a little while ago. They wanted to wait and see you after surgery. They would still be here, but there was an anomaly call. They'll be back in the morning. We've all had a really long day."
"Surgery? What happened?" Connor asked bewilderedly.
"You said Burton broke your arm. Do you remember?"
Connor glanced down at himself for the first time. Bandages and heavy-duty plastic brace encircled his arm from wrist to shoulder. "I remember my arm hurting and being in your arms. You freed me, but it hurt."
Abby's eye's watered a bit. "I'm sorry about that. There was no way to move you that wouldn't have hurt."
"It's not your fault. It's OK. So… surgery?" he prompted again.
"Burton apparently twisted it behind you pretty badly. You had a spiral fracture of the left humerus and a dislocated shoulder and elbow. They had to operate. You now have several pins in your arm as well as a titanium plate." Abby leaned over and kissed him again. "You're going to have one badass scar, my love," she whispered against his lips. "I missed you." Her voice broke on the last part. When she pulled back Connor had tears tracking down his cheeks again.
"I missed you too," he choked. "Abby, I… the things they… I—"
Abby put a finger to his lips. "Not tonight, Connor. Tonight you rest. You're safe. I'll protect you. I'm not going anywhere." She kissed the tears from his cheeks, first one side then the other.
"But… what about Philip? Did they…?"
"He's dead. He can't ever hurt you again. He won't ever come between us again. Now, stop worrying about everything and close your eyes."
Connor lay back and closed his eyes. Abby flipped the light out. "No!" He sat up again.
"Connor, what's the matter?" Abby said flipping the light back on.
"I just… I don't want to be in the dark. I don't like the dark. I know it's stupid, but just… leave the light on. I don't want to be in the dark any more. Please?"
Abby nodded, her expression silently acknowledging that she understood and her heart broke for him. She came back over to the bed. He scooted over as much as the small bed and his injured arm would allow him and Abby crawled up next to him.
"Abby, I really need you to know some things and I need to tell them to you now."
"Connor, there's already quite a lot that I already know. The doctors briefed me and I saw the condition you were in. I found you, remember?"
"I know you found me." He kissed her temple briefly. "But I need to say it, and I need to say it to you."
Abby nodded, relenting. She really didn't want to do this tonight, but he needed it and she wouldn't deny him his release.
"You know I got into the car with him willingly?" he asked.
Abby nodded. "Yeah, I've watched the CCTV footage from the lot about a hundred times."
He nodded back acknowledging her response. "Well, it's didn't start off as bad as what you saw. I didn't even know anything was wrong. I was such an idiot. I-"
"Connor, I'll have none of that. You are not an idiot. You are a brilliant man. Burton had us all fooled."
"Not you. You never really trusted Burton."
"No, I didn't, but I didn't think he was capable of this, what he did to you, none of us did."
"I'm sorry, go on. Just don't put yourself down like that. I love you," Abby finished, kissing him gently. He smirked a little, but didn't really respond to her kiss like he usually did.
"OK, no self loathing… for now… Anyways. I tried to call you; he must have had a call jammer or something. We talked for a while, then when he realized I wanted to tell you all everything and that I really did want to stop the anomalies, not use them, he… he drugged me. I woke up chained to a wall in one of the basement rooms. I wouldn't cooperate. Philip told me I would, whether I liked it or not and that it would keep getting worse until I did. They drugged me again, but instead of knocking me out, it made me sick, like really sick. They did that for days; I still wouldn't cooperate. Then… then they took me to another room and… and it got worse."
Connor proceeded to tell her of all the atrocities inflicted upon him and the vile ways in which he was abused. Abby listened in sober silence, not daring to interrupt the tide of horrors that flowed out of him. She held him close, comforting him when his speech became halting and he could barely sob out the words. Painstakingly he heaved and choked through his story as best he could. When he'd exhausted himself and said no more, Abby felt free to speak.
"It's OK, Connor. No one will think any less of you, especially not me. I'm just glad I have you back. We'll work through everything together. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not leaving you," she promised. Abby snuggled in closer to him. "Connor, you know about me and my stepdad, right?"
"Yeah, yeah I know what he did to you."
"Then you know that I've been there too, yeah?"
Connor hugged her a little tighter with his one good arm, a single tear skipped down his cheek. "Yeah, I know. Is it bad that I wish I didn't?" he said, his voice breaking a little.
"No," Abby said, her own tears moistening her cheeks. "I wish you didn't either. But, I can tell you… it does get better. You can feel whole again. You'll be OK. Not right away, but eventually. And I'll still be there holding your hand."
He laughed a little nervous laugh and wiped his eyes.
"Now, Connor, you need to rest. Close your eyes and lay back. I'll be here when get up. Promise." She kissed him again and as he laid back. She snuggled down and laid her head on his chest, taking great care to not jostle his arm.
Connor was wearing the thin hospital greens they'd provided, and he could feel her warmth through the lightweight material. He inhaled deeply and kissed the top of her head. She smelled just like he'd remembered, but so much stronger and better. The horrors of the last several weeks could wait to be dealt with. He was tired and sore and completely content with her in his arms. The details could be sorted later.
Connor spent a week in the hospital recovering from his arm injury and the general abuse his body had suffered during his captivity. True to her word, Abby rarely left his side. He had a few emotional outbursts, and she gave him some time to calm down, that was about it. Every night, mostly thanks to Lester's pulling of strings, whether Connor liked it or not, she was there in his room, either sleeping on the bed with him, or next to it in the guest chair or fold out bed. Sometimes he fought this because of bad flashbacks that he didn't want her to see, or he was just having a bad day and was down on himself; other times he was just scared and ashamed. Most nights he ended up falling asleep with Abby next to him. She'd win the battle he seemed to constantly be fighting with himself for if he wanted her there or not. The truth was, he couldn't bear to be without her. Sometimes he felt dirty and unworthy of her love, but she was always there, pushing back. She loved him. She'd told him so every day since he'd woken up. But she did more than just tell him; she'd showed him.
Abby had learnt to check his bandages and help him in and out of his brace properly. She'd set up his meetings with the hospital counselor for him. He went to the meetings with the counselor at the hospital and they discussed setting up appointments with an outside therapist for continued counseling.
At first, he'd said yes, but then, when it was time to actually make the appointments with the therapist, he'd backed out completely, not because he was angry, but because he wasn't ready to deal with some of the lasting implications of his ordeal yet. He also wanted Abby there, but was torn because he didn't know how, nor was he ready, to burden Abby with his fears. He wasn't ready to face the possibility of HIV or AIDS, he didn't want to tell her how sick some of the medication actually made him feel, both emotionally as well as physically. He knew she was aware of what some of the meds were for, but she let him be.
Now, after an extended stay at home on bed rest, he was physically ready to go back to work. He still not even attempted to see a therapist, the counseling had stopped when he'd been cleared by the hospital. Every time the subject came up, Connor would change it. Abby watched with sadness as the time got closer for him to go back to work. The more he thought about it the more his arm hurt, or the more nauseated he would become. Sometimes he'd make it as far as the front door, but then he'd back out and come up with another excuse to wait another day.
Finally, Abby put her foot down. "Connor. You have to stop and talk to me. What is the problem? You're avoiding everything and everyone. I'm convinced that if you didn't already live with me, you'd be avoiding me as well."
Connor huffed out a breath and hung his head. "It's not on purpose. I'm trying. I really am. I just get anxious and nauseated every time I think about going back. Everyone knows what happened and what am I going to say to that? I want to go back to work; I just don't know if I can. I'll try, OK. I'll try tomorrow."
"Connor, I know you're not faking or anything. Just relax. Everyone misses you. I'm sure it'll be fine."
"They're going to look at me differently."
"Connor, you're going to be fine. Yes, it may feel awkward at first, but I'll be right there with you the whole time."
Connor nodded in acquiescence. "I'd like that. OK, tomorrow."
"Tomorrow," Abby agreed.
The next morning, Connor got in the car with Abby and headed in to work, but as soon as he saw the ARC building he started to tense up. He was dripping with sweat and in the middle of a full-blown panic attack that he was desperately trying to keep under control by the time his lab and Burton's old office came into view. He couldn't breathe. He ran from the building with Abby close behind him.
He didn't stop at the car; he ran all the way to the edge of the parking lot, hunched over and promptly threw up his breakfast.
Abby was right behind him, her hand on his back, trying to soothe him as best she could.
"Go away, Abby."
"Can't you see? I'm ruining your life. I can't even go to work. I can't do anything. I'm broken, Abby. I'm not me. I don't know where me is anymore. I don't know who I am. I lived at the mercy of someone else for so long, I don't know how to just simply be. I'm constantly waiting for the next thing to happen, for the next disaster to come. I hate living like this and I'm not going to make you do it either. I'll never finish Cutter's work at this rate… I couldn't stop Philip. I couldn't defend myself. What if next time it's you? If I can't protect myself, then I won't be able to protect you. I'm done for. All I've ever accomplished was for nothing. I don't even know if I want to live anymore. You deserve more than that, better than that, you deserve someone who can take care of you."
"Connor, shut up. Now you listen to me for a moment." She turned him around and pulled him down to sit on the concrete. "OK, so you're not the same. You're still Connor, even if you don't know it. Even if that person is lost to you. Do you remember what your first words were to me when I found you in that room?"
Connor shook his head miserably. He hated the flashbacks of what had happened in that room.
"You asked me if Burton had got to me, you apologized for it, and then you asked if he'd hurt me." Connor flinched when Abby mentioned Burton. "Your first thought was not for you, or the pain he'd put you in. Your first thought was me, someone other than yourself. That is who Connor Temple is. Even if you have forgotten or can't see yourself anymore, I haven't. I'll be your guide back to who you are. I love you. You've always been there for me, it's my turn to return the favor."
Connor looked up at her, his dark eyes still full of fear and trepidation even after all these weeks. He nodded and she pulled him into her arms, cradling him like she did in the cell, being careful not to jostle his arm, which was still in the large brace and would be for several more weeks yet.
"Come on," Abby said after a few minutes. "Let's go for a walk. I think we could both use some fresh air."
They once again bypassed the car and exited the ARC facilities on foot. They walked to a nearby park in silence, holding each other's hand.
Abby guided Connor to a park bench and they both sat.
"I don't think I can go back to work, at least not in the actual building, not yet. I'll try, but I'm not ready yet." Connor was reclining on the bench, his head in her lap and his braced arm positioned out over the edge of the bench.
"Then you're not ready. You don't even have to work right now if you don't want to. We'll figure something out." Abby leaned forward and kissed his forehead.
"I want to work, just every time I do, I see his face, leering at me. I feel him touching me, his hands on me. It's just not the same. It's tainted everything I've ever worked for. I don't know how to move on." Connor shuddered at the memories.
"You don't have too. Not yet. It's only been a few weeks. Trust me. It will take time. You're still healing, both physically and mentally. Remember what the therapist said, 'It's not going to happen over night, and that's OK.'" Abby gently pushed him up to a sitting position. "I'm going to make a call, just wait here, OK."
She kissed his lips and he kissed her back this time, fully engaging in their physical contact for the first time in almost a month. He'd been too afraid to do anything beyond platonic comforting embraces since his return home; anything more had made him tremble with nerves and recoil from her completely. "I love you, Abby. I'm sorry things aren't the same."
"They will be, or they'll be better. I'm not going anywhere, remember."
Connor nodded and smiled at her, a shadow of the bright smile he used to have.
Her fingers caressed his cheek as she got up and walked a few feet away. She took out her mobile and dialed Lester's extension.
"James Lester. Who's speaking?"
"Ah, Abby, I trust Connor is with you?"
"Yes, sorry, today's another no go. Actually that's what I needed to talk to you about."
"What do you need? As much as I hate to admit it, I would prefer it if Connor didn't go loony."
"Time. He needs time, Lester. He's not ready."
"I thought you might say that."
"And he needs me with him," Abby finished. It wasn't really a question, but she wanted his approval.
"Yes, of course. You two take all the time you need. Your jobs will be waiting here for you. I'll arrange for therapy. You both need to go. I'm insisting. You take the time off you need, but you get him to therapy. I'll help offset your expenses, surely you haven't spent all that back pay yet?"
"No, we haven't, and yes, I'll make sure we get to therapy. I think we can manage that." Abby paused. "Connor's new device, have Matt or any of the other scientists figured anything out?"
"No, but Connor's progress from where we were before is astonishing. It won't be long. We'll be fine until you get back. We may even work it all out."
Abby turned to look back at Connor. He was sitting on the bench, his head back and relaxed staring up at the sky. He glanced over at her and smiled. For a moment it was the wide dimpled smiled she'd missed so much. He leaned his head back again and closed his eyes, content and peaceful for the time being.
"OK. Thanks, Lester. I'll keep you updated."
"Oh and, Abby, take care of him. We need him. I don't think he always remembers that."
"I will, and I'll let him know you said so." She laughed a little and saw Connor's lip twitch into a small grin at the sound of her laughter.
"Don't you dare or I really will get my lawyers involved."
The phone line disconnected and Abby shut her mobile, walking back over to where Connor sat with his eyes still closed.
She sat down on the bench and curled up next to him, her head on his chest.
"OK, no work until you're ready, really ready."
"What? Who was that on the phone?"
"Lester. He says we can have as much time as we need, but we have to go to therapy."
"I'm not… wait. We?"
"You're staying home too?"
"Yeah. Lester said he'd cover our expenses and our jobs will be waiting, so long as you, and me, go to therapy. I figured we could go on a holiday first. Just the two of us."
"Hmm. That sounds nice. Can we go somewhere quiet, where I can see the sun and go outside whenever I want? I don't want to be stuck inside all the time, you know?"
Abby leaned up and kissed him. "Yeah, I know. I think I know the perfect place. I read about it." She kissed him again, this time on his nose. "How about." Another kiss, his right cheek. "A private villa." A kiss on his left cheek. "On the Mediterranean." A kiss to his chin. "In the south of France? Hmm." A long lingering kiss on his lips finished her exploration of his face.
Connor laughed, actually laughed. She'd missed that sound. It was as if her giving him permission to not be OK had lifted a weight off his shoulders. He wasn't OK, by any means, but he would be. She'd make sure of that. She loved him, and she knew he loved her. Things would be tough, but they'd get through it. Connor put his arms around her and leaned down to continue the kiss.
The End (for now)
A/N 2: There will be a sequel to this fic out sometime this summer (I hope, currently the WIP folder is quite long). I'm going to do my best to keep the tone not porny because that just doesn't feel right with the tone of this story. I haven't even decided yet if there will be any smut at all. But, after I inflicted so much pain on Connor, it's only fair that he get a full on comfort fic. Thanks so much for reading and even more thanks if you decide to hit the review button and tell me what you think about this story. It only takes a second to hit the review button and leave your thoughts. Thanks so much to those of you who have done that and stuck with me through this brutal story. :-) *hugs* You guys keep me wanting to write.