Foot in Mouth Disease

Synopsis: Connor talks to Abby after Jenny's wedding.

Disclaimer: I don't own Primeval.

Pairing: Connor/Abby, hint of Matt and Emily

After Lester finished marrying Jenny, and after Jenny and her new husband kissed, and after everyone applauded, Connor set down the laptop and breathed a sigh of relief. To say it had been a long day and night and day again, was an understatement of epic proportions. He was so tired that his ears were buzzing and he had to squint into the bright daylight streaming through the windows.

"Good job," said Matt, with a firm nod to Connor. "But seeing as how the creatures are all back where they belong and the anomaly is closed, we should probably get going."

Connor gaped at him. "Matt, I know you're not one for socializing, but surely even you can see it would be rude to leave now. Plus Jenny's our friend, yeah? Former ARC employee and all that."

Matt hesitated. His eyebrows drew together as he scanned the well-heeled guests milling toward the ballroom where Connor had seen tables and chairs set up for, hopefully, a lovely meal. He was proper starving after his vigil in the basement and he hoped some food would take away this feeling he had of being hung over and drunk at the same time, without the benefits of consuming any booze.

"And look how lovely Emily looks," added Connor, suspecting this might be Matt's weak spot. "If we left now, she'd have to change. Let her enjoy herself a little longer."

Matt sighed and stared at Emily in her borrowed dress, his expression as enigmatic as ever. "I suppose you're right. But we're not staying another night, Connor. After we eat, we leave, got it?"

Connor nodded and scuttled away before Matt could change his mind. He found a waitress walking around with a tray of a shrimp salad on cracker, so he grabbed one and popped it into his mouth. Normally, he wasn't wild about shrimp, but he was hungry enough that it tasted like a bit of heaven. So he reached back and took another, ignoring the disapproving scowl on the woman's face.

After that he grabbed a glass of white wine from another tray and downed the whole thing before he realized how thirsty he was. The wine immediate went to his head, so he hung onto the back of a chair to steady himself. When he saw Abby standing near the French doors that led to the back gardens, he snagged two more glasses. This time, the serving woman just raised her eyebrows at him. He ignored her.

"Hey," he said, joining Abby and holding out one of the glasses.

"Hey, you." Abby smiled at him and took one of the glasses. "Thanks."

"It was a lovely wedding, wasn't it?"

"Mmm, it was. I'm glad you were able to hook Lester up through the laptop."

"Well, it's the least I could do after stumbling into the service shouting at everyone to scatter."

Abby laughed. "It's better than letting the hyendadons eat the guests. You did a good job today, Connor."

"Thank you very much. You did too, Abby. Should we drink to us?"

"We should."

They grinned and clinked glasses.

"I wonder if our—" Connor snapped his mouth shut and gulped down some more wine. He'd almost said "I wonder if our wedding will have an anomaly at it," but that would've been bad. Especially since his comment from the day before was still hanging in the air between them like an inflated pink elephant, bobbing around and getting in the way of everything.

"Our what?"

"What?"

"Connor, you started to say something and then you stopped. What did you mean by you 'wonder if our'?"

"Don't know. I'm sleep deprived and me brain is working wrong." Connor rested his head on her shoulder, trying to act the part, all the while kicking himself for being a big chicken.

He'd thought of marrying Abby quite often over the years, and sometimes in his mind, it was a done deal. He'd just never gotten up the nerve to talk about it with her. Until yesterday, that is, when it had just sort of popped out on its own.

Abby put an arm around him and rubbed circles on his back. "Maybe you should go lie down in one of the rooms," she suggested.

"No, I'm okay. I want to enjoy the rest of the wedding."

"Okay," she said. "By the way, I left you about 20 million messages. Didn't know whether to be angry or worried at first. Then I was just worried."

"Sorry." Connor slipped an arm around her waist. "I was kind of trapped, wasn't I?"

"Yeah. You can erase the messages if you want. They get repetitive after a while."

"Okay."

"I hate that you had to spend the night alone down there." He could hear a frown in her voice. "I should've gone looking for you."

"Sorry."

"Don't apologize." Abby gave him an irritated poke in the side. "It's me who should be sorry. I let Jenny talk me into thinking you were sleeping off a drinking binge when I should've known better. Even if you drank like that, you would've returned my calls."

"Jenny knew I was with Matt, didn't she? If I was drinking it was from boredom. Or desperation."

Abby snorted.

"You don't need to apologize, Abby. No way you could've known where I was, yeah?"

"But you needed help, and I wasn't there."

"Abby," said Connor, giving her a little shake. "You would've helped if you'd known, okay? Quit beating yourself up about it."

She sighed. "Okay."

Someone rang a bell and announced that lunch was being served in the ballroom. Connor picked his head off Abby's shoulder and waited for the room to stop spinning. Unfortunately, it didn't, so he kept his arm around her waist as they filed in behind the rest of the guests. One good thing about the wine, it was making him a tiny bit braver.

"Abby," said Connor, as they followed a woman in a pink suit and large feathered hat, "about what I said—"

"There you are," said Emily, suddenly appearing at their side. "I'm not familiar with your customs. What are the seating arrangements today?"

"I don't know," said Abby, "but let's sit together. Where's Matt?"

Emily pointed him out. He was getting two glasses of fruit punch for him and Emily. When Emily waved at him, he nodded. A moment later, he joined them at an empty table in the back of the room.

Just as they settled down, Jenny breezed by, all smiles. "Whew, that was more excitement than I wanted at my wedding. Thank you all for making sure no one was hurt. That would've put a damper on everything, I'm sure."

They laughed and told her they were glad to help.

"And I'm so glad you're staying for lunch," she continued. "We have filet mignon, potatoes, asparagus, and assorted other things. If you don't like beef, just let your server know, and they can bring something else. Then there's a delicious vanilla cream wedding cake for dessert with raspberry syrup. Help yourselves to wine or beer, etc., etc. Oops, there's my husband looking for me. Isn't it wonderful to say husband?"

Before she left, she met Connor's eyes as if to say, if this is what you want, don't ruin it by being an idiot. Talk to her.

Connor glanced at Abby, but she'd turned to Emily, and the two of them were chatting about the decorations and dresses and comparing them to similar things from the 1800s. Matt caught his eye and they both shared a grimace.

"Oh Connor," said Emily suddenly, turning her attention to him. "I hear you and Abby are thinking of getting married here."

"What?" Connor blinked, not sure he'd heard her correctly, or if it was the wine and sleep deprivation talking. "M-married?"

"Oh, God no," said Abby. She gave Connor a quick, furtive glance. "Actually I think Connor said it would be a nice place to get married, right Connor? Not that the two of us should get married here. We don't have any plans on getting married or anything, do we?"

Connor shook his head, not trusting himself to talk lest he blurt out something else he'd regret, like he'd wanted to get married until Abby had just said "God no," as if the idea of marrying him were the equivalent of getting a root canal. He hadn't expected her to want to marry him for years and years the way he'd wanted to marry her, but he also hadn't thought she'd be so repulsed by the idea. Where did she think their relationship was going anyway?

Suddenly all the old fears came crashing down on him, multiplied by the lack of sleep and too much wine. Abby had only been with him in the Cretaceous because there was no one else and being together helped them stay alive and sane from lack of human contact. Now that they were back, he was the geek, and she was the hot blonde who could get someone better than him, someone more macho and dangerous and handsome.

Abby was so pretty a million guys would be interested in her, and she knew it. Maybe she was just staying with him out of pity or habit. She'd been perfectly happy sleeping away from him last night, not even protesting when Jenny spirited her and Emily away.

Connor knew he was being ridiculous, that he wasn't thinking straight, but he couldn't seem to stop the gloomy thoughts from swirling around his head.

He felt Abby's hand on his thigh. "Connor," she whispered in his ear. "We need to talk. Later, after lunch, okay?"

Connor nodded and swallowed down the threat of tears. "We sure do."