Ok, so here's a bit of old school Primeval, yay! I know some of you are hoping for an update of disobedience, and I can tell you the next chapter's getting there, but I've always felt my heart belonged to the Nick/Claudia/Jenny pairing, so I couldn't help writing this one that I've had in my head for ages. The premise is Nick has come back through the anomaly where we last saw Claudia, so it sort of picks up after series one, the only difference being Nick has experienced series two and three, including Jenny (but no one else knows this).
I'm not going to lie- this week has been absolutely horrendous, and, judging by the amount of paperwork that's sneakily managed to wheedle it's way onto my desk, next week doesn't seem too promising either.
I could kill for a decent cup of coffee at the moment, or a cappuccino… or hot chocolate. I've been working non stop all day, forms to fill in here, journalists to smooth over there, etc, etc. The only god damned saving grace is that haven't had to deal with Helen Cutter once this week, though, come to think of it, she's still very much with us. Nick's still nursing his wounded pride and Stephen… well; I can't say anyone on the team is overly enthusiastic to talk to him anymore.
Honestly, I didn't really see that shock revelation coming, and yet, of course Helen had slept with Stephen. Should have seen it a mile off- it's the kind of vindictive thing she'd do.
Alas it's Friday morning, and the only thing I can think of is actually getting out and doing something today- productive or not, I'm not really fussed, Lester's driving me mad with his insistent whining and bitching. Sometimes he can be almost as annoying as that bloody singing, crazy frog thing off the telly- almost, but I'd much rather take 24 hours of Lester over that abomination.
Opening my laptop with a forced enthusiasm (one of those moments where you feel like doing sarcastic "yippee"), I plug it into the mains, waiting for the wretched thing to boot. It's so old it puts great aunt Betsy to shame, it really does, and it usually takes a full 15 minutes before I can even touch it without fear of crashing the darn thing.
It loads, after I've managed to read the front articles plastered across the Telegraph, and I fold the broadsheet away, only to be met with this:
Configuration updates needed, please wait.
I hate Friday mornings as much as Monday ones. Blasted thing.
Half the paper and around 20 articles later, I see the familiar sight of my desktop, hallelujah.
And it just seemingly gets worse from there.
"Claudia?" I whip around in my chair, only to be met with Lester's grim face as he surveys the work area with utter disdain, "Can you possibly check in on Cutter? Only I'm a little fed up of stabbing around in the dark. I want answers."
"Of course," I nod, a little too enthusiastic for my own liking, and even though I went to all the trouble of booting up the pc, I don't really care- I get to leave this stuffy place, and retreat to the inviting office of none other than Nicholas Cutter, "I'll just get going, did you want him back here?"
"Not if I can help it, no."
Though cluttered with so much memorabilia you can barely see the burgundy walls (probably for the best), Nick's office is one of those places where you just step into and instantly feel… at ease. The air's warm, and the familiar essence of multiple deodorants lingers, filling your lungs with its delightful smell with each intake of breath. It's his smell, I know because I've been close enough on several occasions, and that beautifully saccharine smell has enveloped me each time.
Despite the irrefutable smell of him, I can't see him anywhere, and I call his name out uncertainly before descending the stairs. There's no reply, so I seat myself in the chair opposite his, which sits behind the desk, and admire the trinkets on his desk top.
"Claudia Brown." His voice, so soft, so beautifully fluent, makes me jump with the unexpectedness of it all. It's always my full name, like a title I've somehow earned.
He's standing at the top of the stairs, having just walked into the office, gazing at me with those piercing eyes, a slight smile adorning those… those lips. The memory of his lips pressed furiously against mine flashes into my head briefly, and I'm sure my cheeks flush with a smattering of pink.
"Nicholas Cutter." I reply in mild jest, not rising from the chair as he makes his way towards me, trying to suppress a laugh- and failing.
Hair, reasonably tousled in its usual windswept way, catches my eye momentarily, and I wonder what it'd be like to run my fingers through it… my reverie is broken as he leans back onto the desk, arms folded, ankles crossed, "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
I sigh, drawing in a deep breath before exhaling significantly, "Lester's wanting some solid answers on how to combat these anomalies."
He unknowingly mimics my sigh, eyes fixating on the floor as if trying to concentrate, "I've come up with one or two ideas… whether they'll work or not is another matter entirely, but I need to get Connor to build the devices first."
"To detect anomalies. It's a work in progress," his eyes linger on me for a little longer than they should do, and I realise that we haven't exactly seen each other since he came back through the anomaly with Helen, "How are you?"
The question throws me off balance a little bit, because Nick says it in such a way that it sounds so personal, so intimate and concerned, as if he really cares how I am. I know he does, I can tell by his mannerisms and the sotto-voce of his voice that there's underlying feelings there… the kisses were a bit of a give away, admittedly, but apart from that…
"I… I'm good thanks." I manage to murmur, my eyes meeting his steady gaze and I smile.
"No more nightmares?"
A genuine smile graces his lips. It's adorable when he smiles; it's almost like he's forgotten how to do it over the years, only to have discovered it once again, because his eyes light up as well as his face. I continue to smile back, the only thing I can honestly do.
He clears his throat suddenly, a slight colour adorning his stubble-roughed cheeks as he averts his gaze, evidently uncomfortable with something, before he lurches away from the table, taking me by surprise. He runs a tense hand through his tousled hair, pacing away from me, the other shoved deeply into the recess of his trouser pocket. Somehow his whole demeanour's changed in the blink of an eye, and I'm felt feeling a little shocked and worried.
"Nick?" He swings around at the mention of his name, and as soon as it leaves my lips he's beside me once again, so close I can feel the warmth of his breath against the skin of my cheek.
"We should go out." He states, both hands now thoroughly hidden from view by the material of his trousers.
I stare dumbstruck at him for the briefest of moments; a streak of worried horror flits across his roguish features and I panic- I don't quite understand, "What?"
"I- I mean that's if you want to," he stammers hastily, "You know, to a restaurant, or… or a pub or something."
I hesitate, my eyes subconsciously flickering to his lips, "I… I would love to, Nick."
I remember the harshness of his stubble against my chin, my cheeks, my lips… and I desperately long for it again. I resist the urge to take his face in my hands and press a kiss to his inviting lips, I need to be professional- we both do.
There's a moment wherein he looks almost lost, heartbroken, as if remembering some painful memory that only I can ease.
"Oh, Claudia," he breathes in an instant of desirous abandon as his eyes follow my gaze; his apprehension somewhat dissipated as he realises how close we really are, "Do you know how badly I wanted to take you into my arms after I came back through that anomaly?"
"No." I mutter, my eyes unwillingly flutter closed; disbelieving that Nick can make me act in such a manner. He'd been gone quite a few hours, I remember, and when they'd finally returned his eyes had lingered on me sometime after Helen had disappeared back through. There had been a sadness there, I'd noticed, perhaps due to the revelation of his wife's infidelity, but it had been dwarfed by what I assumed was contemplation.
His hand laces into the hair at the nape of my neck, whilst the other slides around my waist to draw me against him; my hands resting on the lapel of his shirt. I can't think straight, my mind, my judgement, is severely clouded by him and his unorthodox suavity.
"God," He growls uncontrollably, and I feel his chest vibrate beneath my fingertips, "I can't… I can't wait, Claudia, I can't… do this conventionally; I can't date you for months on end before I can have you all to myself… I've already waited too long, and that was too hard…"
"Nick, please…" I am assailed by the heavily scented husk of his neck and my words are lost to oblivion. His lips vehemently attack the expanse of skin below my right ear in a frenzied passion I've not experienced with any man before; his teeth nipping at my neck until it's livid red.
An irrepressible moan of longing escapes the confines of my throat as I throw my head back, revealing fresh areas for him to devour.
It is the worst possible time for Stephen to waltz in.
And yet he does, innocently enough, book in hand as he stumbles across a scene he thought he'd never had to witness.
Nick's hand is hungrily running up my exposed thigh, skimming the edges of my skirt before we notice his presence, and by that time I'm already pushed up against the desk, clinging to him with mad lust.
Initially Stephen seems dumbstruck as Nick and I hastily untangle ourselves from one another, and then slowly his surprise fades, morphing into something far worse- fury. I pull the hem of my skirt down, swiftly smoothing my hair and desperately trying to rid myself of all evidence of what Nick and I were… doing.
Stephen slowly descends the stairs, his eyes fixated on Nick, as if I'm not here at all, and his reaction bemuses me a little. Why on earth is he angry? It's not like he-
"So all this time you've been penalising me for sleeping with you wife when you've been cheating yourself?"
A million things ran through my mind at that precise moment, like the fact that Nick was indeed still married, even if his wife was psychotic, and that technically made us no better than Stephen of Helen- even though we hadn't actually… uh… slept together…
I hesitated for a split second, wondering whether Nick would retort, and as soon as I did, he spoke.
"I'm sorry," he snarled, looking, for the first time that I had known him, quite frightening, "But when you were screwing my wife so was I. This is quite different-"
"Really Cutter? How's that?" He snapped, taking a step forward so they were practically inches from one another, forcing me to step back a little to avoid being sandwiched between them.
"Well for one thing Helen made the decision to leave me years ago, and as far as I'm concerned, that relationship ended the day she pissed off through an anomaly."
"Anyway," I intervened, now slightly worried they'd injure one another, "I should be getting back to the Home Office and… uh… getting on with some work."
I made a bid to leave, heading straight for the door when Nick's hand caught my upper arm as I was half-way up the stairs. I turned, my gaze originally falling on his, before it briefly flickered towards a disgruntled Stephen, remaining on him temporarily. Nick opened his mouth to speak, but he struggled to find something to say, instead settling on "take care."
I forced a smile, for whose benefit I wasn't entirely sure, and reminded him to keep me updated with any sort of progress he might make. There was something lingering in his eyes as I pulled away, an emotion I couldn't quite place- regret perhaps. I nodded curtly in Stephen's direction in way of goodbye before I left, relief flooding though me, then embarrassment, and then nothing but shame.