A/N: Repost of an older story that was in need of some editing... so you may have read this one before.
Connor had always spent a lot of time paying attention to the details. He observed things. It was how he learned and he knew it was the reason why he'd always done so well in school. Of course he didn't pay attention to everything, only to what he was interested in, but still, when he liked something, he'd quickly sop up every little detail about it. So, he liked to assume that he knew absolutely everything about his favourite subject of study: Abigail Maitland.
When they'd first met, Abby had made it quite clear to him that she didn't want to be anything more than friends with him. She'd pushed him away over and over with her actions and her words. At first it'd hurt him, but as he'd studied her further and come to know his topic better, he'd realised something else; Abby loved him too. It was fear that was keeping her at bay, but he'd have to be an idiot (and he knew he wasn't, despite what she always said) to not notice the way she always looked at him. There was longing in her eyes when she leaned toward him just to be closer and hoping he didn't see.
The first time he'd really noticed it had been after she'd saved him from his first encounter with a future predator. He'd been so jealous just a moment earlier when she'd been hugging Stephen, but then he'd seen that look in her eyes as she made some comment about the rent to hide her true feelings. He'd watched her walk away with curiosity and paid attention since then. When nothing had come of it, he'd gone out with Caroline, and to his delight, Abby had been jealous. He'd noticed that too, though he'd pretended not to. It's why he'd asked her before breaking up with Caroline. He'd wanted to see her reaction. The pleased look that came into her eyes while she pretended it didn't matter to her had been rather cute.
The moments had become more frequent after that: the way she'd looked at him when they'd been in that church, the way she'd almost taken his hand at Stephen's funeral, the way she'd pressed into his side while they walked when he'd told her the story about being trapped in the museum toilet, the way she'd become embarrassed and looked anywhere but him when he first allowed himself to "catch" her looking at him like that and looked back at her that day in the old mansion where Danny's brother had disappeared and the way she'd kissed his cheek afterward, Connor'd noticed it all.
And then she'd asked him to move out. At first he was upset about it, wondering if he'd been wrong all these years about her feelings, but when he'd agreed and she'd hugged him for a bit longer than necessary, he knew it was something else. It quite possibly really was that Jack needed her, but Connor was sure the three of them could have lived in the flat without issues so he couldn't help thinking that maybe she was afraid as they were growing continuously closer. It didn't make sense. He'd hit on her many times in the past and while she'd pushed him away at first, she'd stopped doing that. He figured she'd just had bad experiences with relationships in the past, but in his own mind at least, Connor'd long ago proved to her that he wasn't like the guys she used to date. Which meant that this fear was something else, something new.
Was it possible that she thought her affections were unrequited? That she didn't want to embarrass herself if she got found out? The more he observed her, the more he felt it was true. And for the first time he sat down and thought and observed himself, and his own actions.
Of course she didn't push him away anymore when he hit on her, because he never did hit on her anymore! He'd stopped when he thought she didn't like it, and then he'd gone out with Caroline and even after he'd broken up with her, he'd never pursued Abby in a romantic way again. He'd figured the ball was in her court now, that it was her turn to pursue him. No wonder she thought he didn't love her anymore. Come to think of it, he hadn't even returned that last hug she'd given him before moving out.
Connor groaned inwardly as he realised he had to fix this before the situation grew even more awkward. It felt sort of backwards, him planning on making a move on her. Though he supposed it wasn't, it was proper, he was the man of the relationship after all. It's just that, with them, he'd usually always run on Abby's cues. Abby had always made the decisions. It was definitely his turn.
He'd been living with Lester for four days now and tonight was supposed to be Abby and Connor's weekly movie night. They rented something every Friday, provided there was no anomaly. He didn't know what the plan was now that they were living apart, but he knew that if he didn't bring it up, she wouldn't either, and if they missed this first week, it'd never happen again.
If he was going to sort things out with Abby they needed to spend some time together outside of work so they could talk, and this just might be the perfect opportunity. He didn't want Jack intruding, so it'd have to be at Lester's flat, he mused. It was alright, Lester would be gone to his country home where he lived with his wife and kids on the weekends and he had a brilliantly large TV, even if Connor wasn't supposed to touch it. The downside would be, of course, admitting to Abby where he was living, but he supposed she'd find out sooner or later. And with that, he marched determinedly into her new lab where she was working.
"Shut the door, Connor," Abby ordered immediately, not wanting the temperature in the room to change.
Connor obeyed and then turned to her. "Abby, what kind of pizza do you want for our movie night? I'll place the order."
Abby looked surprised, and then a smile appeared on her face, "Nice try, Connor, but you get to choose the pizza since it's my turn to pick the movie."
Connor frowned, mockingly, "Yeah, but Abby, you kicked me out of the flat. I think that means I deserve an extra turn at choosing the movie, don't you?"
Abby sighed, "Only with how many things are you planning on using that excuse to get your own way."
"A whole lot," Connor nodded eagerly and truthfully.
Abby giggled, "Oh, alright, you get the movie and order me Hawaiian pizza, please."
"Thanks. With everything going on, I have to admit, I'd forgotten about movie night. I need it though, I need the break. I need to relax and have fun and refocus tonight."
"No sense wasting a perfectly good tradition," Connor shrugged, "But Abby, can we watch it at my buddy's flat?" He didn't want to tell her that he didn't want Jack joining them, nor his intentions to move their relationship forward as he didn't want her to back out now, so he opted with the best excuse he could come up with. "He's not in tonight and he's got a wicked TV I want to watch it on. Plus, Sid and Nancy miss you and it's so much easier to not pack them up and bring them to your place."
Abby nodded, "Okay, I miss them too. Where's your buddy live?"
Connor hesitated; Lester wouldn't be home, so he might be able to get away with not telling her the truth, but then again, he had family portraits all over the walls. He sighed, "Well, actually, you have the address with our work contact list. I'm living with Lester."
Abby's eyes widened for a moment and then she suddenly began laughing harder than he'd ever seen her laugh, leaning on the counter to stay upright.
"What's so funny about that?" Connor demanded.
"Lester?! How on earth did you talk him into letting you and the diictodons stay with him? Connor you must be driving him up the wall!"
"He does yell a lot," Connor admitted, starting to smile himself, "but I didn't talk him into it, Abs. He just… offered. I didn't even ask him."
"I always said he was nice really," Abby grinned as she got a hold of herself, "but I do wish I had a video camera in there. You two would be far more entertaining than most of the reality junk on the telly these days."
"He'd kill me for telling you, Abs," Connor said. "He doesn't want anyone to know we're flatmates. He won't even let me use that word."
"I bet! But oh, I can't wait to tell everyone anyway."
Connor shrugged, "It's on you then, not me. So you'll meet me at 6:00 at Lester's?"
Abby nodded, "Definitely."
A few hours later, Connor led Abby into Lester's den where the huge TV was mounted onto the wall.
Abby gave Connor an amused glance when she saw the "Do Not Touch" sign attached to it, but Connor just ripped it down when he caught her looking at it. "He puts signs up quite often."
"And you take them down again?"
"I just say I didn't see it and that Sid or Nancy must have gotten to it first," Connor admittedly sheepishly.
Abby grinned and settled herself down into the dark brown leather sofa that faced the screen, "So what are we watching?"
Connor tossed her the case and she groaned when she saw the title "Jurassic Park" across the front.
"You've got to be joshing."
"C'mon, Abs. I haven't seen it in ages."
"Perhaps not, but you live it every day," she teased back.
Connor shrugged and set it up before joining her on the sofa. The movie was half over and they'd finished off the pizza when Connor decided that if he wanted to make a proper move on her, he'd better get up the courage to actually do so. He excused himself to get them both a glass of Lester's most expensive champagne, and when he returned, he sat much closer to her. Abby barely noticed so when he put his glass down, he draped his arm over her shoulder. She gave him a quick smile and then curled up into his side, but they'd cuddled together during many movies before and it wasn't enough, Connor thought, for her to know his intentions.
He took a deep breath and then turned all his attention from the movie to her. First he reached with his far hand to play with her hair, and when he saw her smile a bit, he dropped the hand and replaced it with his lips, pressing a kiss onto her ear. Abby frowned as she stared extra hard at the telly and ignored him, but he also knew it was only an act, a guard that had suddenly gone up in case he didn't follow through, and he noticed the way her eyes became hopeful. He smiled to himself and grabbed her hand, placing a kiss there too and then leaving a trail of them on her shoulder, cheek, and forehead.
"Connor?" Abby turned to him, giving him a look of disbelief, "Are you actually hitting on me?"
Connor didn't back down as he placed another kiss on her nose and then pressed his forehead against hers. "No, Abs, 'course not. Hitting on you, that would mean I'm trying to get you, you know. But you're already mine, so I don't need to. I'm just staking my claim on you, making sure you know your mine and all that."
Abby bit her lip for a moment and Connor saw the uncertainty in her eyes, but he still didn't let up, placing another kiss on the corner of her mouth, so close to her lips.
"Yours?" Abby asked, sounding a bit breathless, but Connor observed that she wasn't pulling away, wasn't telling him to stop, and they both knew she would if she wanted to.
"Yep," he grinned at her, moving back just enough that she'd see his smile, "All mine."
"Connor, what brought this on now?" she asked him, and Connor wasn't sure she noticed that she leaned back closer to him this time.
"I was just thinking," he whispered to her, "that maybe you don't realise how much I love you."
"Love?" Abby questioned, tears starting to fill her eyes.
Connor moved so his lips brushed hers when he confirmed, "Love." Then he pressed them against hers, hesitantly.
Abby instantly placed a hand on the back of his head, kissing him back, deepening the kiss even, and Connor moaned a bit, half in enjoyment and half in relief. Abby pulled back and grinned at him, "You're wrong, Con," she said firmly. "I'm not yours. Rather, you're mine. If anyone should be staking a claim, it should be me."
"Okay," Connor agreed readily, "You can stake a claim too, but we'll not forget who made the first move, yeah?"
"Took you long enough," she teased back with a smile.