Disclaimer: Hasn't changed
A/N: So so sorry for the length of waiting time - it was exam season and revision was my one focus, I've only been released two weeks ago but as you can see I got right back to this... hopefully it was worth the wait, maybe? Kind of?
Anyway - hope you enjoy it, this is the last chapter now so thank you for reading and drop a review if you liked it :)
You're all awesome!
Becker groaned and let his head vibrate off the steering wheel, his knuckles clicking as he tightened his grip on the machine attempting to restrain his urge to simply hit the acceleration whether or not all passengers were securely on board.
"You've been in it before Steve! It's a ten minute ride – you won't even have time to analyse what's happening before it's over!"
Connor had been debating with the raptor for over half an hour; the creature had been perfectly happy to get lowered from the window in a harness made of bed sheets because a maintenance man was working on the elevator so wouldn't be moving from the corridor for the day, then shoved in a pile of suspicious liquid covered rubbish bags when a lawyer decided their alley was a perfect spot for a smoke but getting in the back of a truck for a minuscule amount of time… that was too far.
They needed to get going, the original plan had been to break into the head-quarters that very night but protocols of medical checks and de-briefs kept them late; and when these matters revolved around a unlicensed bomb feature on a gun a certain scientist made, there was also a two hour lecture on dangers to the team, civilians, national security and he vaguely remembered a brief mention of fish finger stock prices – although that may have been the concussion.
However the conclusive fact was that it had been a significant dent into the early hours of the morning when they'd finally been dismissed so plans of returning through the anomaly had to be postponed to the next day… during office hours.
There wasn't much to the operation; Connor would hack into the system and take down the creature identification security from the laptop in the truck, then they'd move Steve to the scientist's lab while they entered the main hub, set off the ADD to clear the main team then a few minutes later the fire alarm to eliminate the desk staff before slipping their raptor in and disappearing through the anomaly before they could be missed.
"Don't think I won't just leave you here – you're not our only dinosaur friend; we've got four more ready to welcome us back!"
Relating the strategy to previous plans the soldier was aware there were many unaccountable variables that could result in many a problem; but he was limited by the data failure around when their time-crack would close, meaning they had to go with whatever idea was available. Even if a large percentage of the tactic had been decided by his young friend; which already took away a stretched amount of likelihood to them succeeding.
"I will personally knead that smelly herb you love into a month's worth of your meat if you simply get in the stupid truck!"
However they would definitely have no chance of success if they failed to even get to the ARC first-off.
Slamming his door with a force that shook the whole vehicle, Becker stormed around the edge with a fire in his gaze and smashed a fist against the side of the truck.
"Steve - in!"
Dropping his head in the manner of a child scolded by his parent, the raptor shuffled up the ramp with no further complaint and curled up on the middle of the floor; purposefully facing his back to the soldier.
With another crash Becker closed the truck, noticing his friend's disbelieving look as he returned to the front seat.
"That is so not fair," The young man muttered, securing the padlock before running around to jump into the passenger seat.
Becker smirked at the scientist's comment, "Don't worry, you're still the favorite – I'm just the disciplinary father whereas you're more the nurturing mother."
"Oh that makes me feel better," Connor grumbled, fumbling with his seat-belt as his friend swung out of the alley; it was a necessary item when having a time-keeping perfectionist as your driver.
"I'm here to please," He muttered as he broke through a red light to the scream of an array of horns.
The scientist clung to his seat with wide, panicked eyes, "Well then could you maybe try to not kill us!"
"You drive worse than this in the forest."
"Yeah but I don't have a few dozen metal bodies ready to speed into my side!"
"We're in a truck – even if they did hit us they'd hardly cause much damage."
"I'd be inclined to disagree – look out!"
Becker swerved just in time to miss a bus that had pulled out of a side road; barging onto the opposite lane for a few seconds where luckily there was no on-coming traffic, "I got it – I got it."
However the scientist did not agree with his friend's casual declaration at all and tightened his eyes, deciding he didn't want to witness a car plowing into them or a sharp turn leading to the cold end of a brick wall.
"And here I thought living with a raptor was going to kill me," Connor shakily muttered, winching as another horn blasted them.
"Stop panicking – you'll still get the chance."
"Only if you hand my car-mangled corpse to Steve to finish off."
"… I can do that."
"I feel a bit sick - I think I may have preferred Matt's driving."
"I doubt he would approve of certain passengers."
"Well I wouldn't tell him who's in the back."
"Although the dinosaur smell may give it away."
"There's no smell; plus humans wouldn't be able to distinguish even if there was so it doesn't –"
"You know – you can open your eyes…"
The last statement was laced with smug amusement as the scientist opened his gaze to his friend's raised eyebrow in the very stationary vehicle concealed within the camera's blind-spot in the delivery deport; coughing he began typing on the laptop hooked to the dash-board, "I knew that."
"We've been sitting here for five minutes."
Connor cleared his throat and shifted his position, "I knew that too."
Becker chuckled at his friend's responses and gave him a brief nudge on the arm before jumping from the truck to slide the daggers and hand-guns that were placed by his feet into his waist-band under his top; he would have liked to take back some of the twenty-first century bigger guns as well but they were hardly inconspicuous to carry around the main office when they hadn't been licensed for patrol use.
Flicking his gaze up he noted that the scientist had nearly completed his hacking of the creature identification; the man got this increasingly gleeful expression on his face whenever he neared completing a task.
"That's quick," He commented, handing his friend a pair of daggers as the laptop beeped and Connor snapped it shut.
"I could have invented that software," The scientist replied, moving to the back of the truck, "And to a higher quality – you know they've got all forms of animal listed to set it off… as in you bring your puppy to work and you set off an entire lock-down list."
"Curse the day a spider crawls through a crack in the wall," Becker mumbled; fiddling with the padlock he was becoming more aware of the fact they were about to try and sneak a velociraptor into a government building in the aim of not being spotted by one individual… just thinking it made him feel naïve.
Connor climbed into the back of the vehicle with a hoop of rope awaiting a neck as he crept behind the raptor who hadn't turned around to the sound of the opening door; probably still sulking at the soldier's earlier tone. However the teenage attitude did allow the scientist to slip the roughly-made lead over the creature's head; offering him a shrug when he snorted with aggravation at the new accessory, "Sorry mate – it's not that we don't trust you, it's just… actually no," He paused, sliding a smirk into position, "It's because we don't trust you."
Becker rolled his eyes as Steve knocked the young man off his feet with a quick tail swipe for the comment and he dragged the scientist out of the truck before he retaliated, "You can fight later kids – now we have to be moving."
"Fine," Connor sighed, taking the raptor's rope and following his friend yet childishly poking his tongue at the creature when Becker's back was turned; to which Steve stood on the man's dangling shoe-lace so he face-palmed into the floor.
Fortunately the first corridor was empty; they had five lengths of path to get to Connor's lab – the fifth being the hardest since it had four other experiment rooms lying parallel to it meaning there would be a higher flow of people.
The preceding corridors were all long stretch routes that weren't regularly used since there were quicker paths to reach the destinations they led to; gesturing his partners to inform it was clear the soldier tore an eagle gaze across the single security camera in the far corner as they closed the door and lingered as planned.
Despite Becker's disarray at the flaws in the ARCs security system this one now worked in his favor; the corridors they were travelling down all had cameras on rotation so all he needed to do was wait for the blind-spot, sprint and block the mechanism so it was turned at an angle with enough space for all three of them to pass unseen.
At the last corridor the soldier couldn't believe their luck; they hadn't bumped into a single person and now even the problematic path was a clear route.
"Go!" He whispered, pushing Connor in-front and falling in behind the raptor with a restless gaze on the empty hall.
Suddenly he was in the lab with a disbelief that everything had happened as hoped, glancing around he met his friend's eyes which were shaped by raised eyebrows, "Are you sure it's not an annual day off or something?"
Becker chuckled and shook his head, edging around the table to open the rear-cupboard he replied, "That or they've been watching us the whole time and are waiting to jump out… come on Steve, this is the last time I promise."
The raptor had taken a few steps back as the small enclosure was revealed, understanding their expectance of him; however Connor was more tactical this time and as the creature moved into his space he picked up a pen and stabbed it at the tip of his tail in the area he knew was akin to a ticklish spot.
In immediate reaction Steve lurched forwards as a vibration shot up his limb and stumbled into the cupboard which slammed behind him before he could release a growl of resent.
"You'll regret that later…" Becker murmured; eyeing the door as it shuddered against the hit of an annoyed dinosaur.
The scientist smirked, "He'll forgive me – come on."
Leading out of the room he continued on the corridor down to the hub with the soldier close at his heels, one hand in his pocket where he was probably fidgeting with the single match taking occupancy. It was quite a trivial idea, but lighting a flame to trigger the water system was a lot less hassle than hacking into the software and making it think there was a fire.
However firstly Connor needed to set the ADD on anomaly alert; it wouldn't be hard seeing as there was an anomaly sitting a few meters away from the machine meaning all that needed to be done was reprogram the computer to scan the control room again since it had been taken off the list due to the lingering time-crack.
He aimed straight for the machine on entering the room, sensing Becker halt at the desk nearest the doorway and pick up a file to flick through so he could scan the occupants; fortunately Jess wasn't anywhere in sight meaning he had clear access to the ADD – however a mere few paces from the control board a stressed bark captured his movement.
"Connor, nice of you to finally arrive!"
The scientist turned to his name with forced patience, "I always believed consistency was more important than punctuality."
Lester threw a trademark 'You're not funny' expression despite the amusement in his eyes, "Well as long as unemployment is a factor on your wish list you can maintain that belief," Gesturing to the office holding Abby, Kevin and an up-tight vainly suited man he lowered his tone with added urgency, "Anyway – you're needed in this meeting."
The young man hesitated, sending a nervous flick to his friend who was watching the conversation from behind a folder; they really needed to clear the room, "Actually…" He extended, edging nearer the ADD, "I was just going to check if anything else had been picked up because of yesterday and – "
"It's turned off at the moment," Lester interrupted, checking the guests in his office before moving closer to his employee on seeing the confused features to whisper, "That's the finance minister cluttering my room and seeing as he signs our budget I don't think an empty headquarters would achieve much."
Grabbing Connor's arm he released a highly uncharacteristic, slightly borderline, manic laugh and waved to the 'money man', who returned a wary nod; once his back was turned the strung boss dug a tighter grip and hissed, "So get your brain in that room and help Kevin fascinate him with his latest gadget thing."
Unable to give further input the scientist locked Becker's gaze as he was dragged by his persistent boss and directed his head in the ADD's direction; the soldier took the message and casually strolled towards the computer still reading his file, keeping to the edge of the wall – an attempt to continue his invisibility to Lester to ensure he didn't also get forced into the sucking-up meeting.
Despite the one minor flaw in the plan everything was still on track, all Becker needed to do was flick the switch and set off the anomaly alert; however the adding of a new rough tone to the room froze his purpose and he fought back a glare at his colleges cheerful attitude.
"Money man still here?" Matt asked; flinging a duffel bag onto his desk with a lack of respect for the weapons inside that made the soldier winch.
Lester somehow seemed to increase in his manic expression at the man's loud exclamation and hissed, "If you mean the man who signs whether or not we get paid then yes! So if you would just –"
He underwent a rapid change as the click of his office door sounded and a painfully welcoming smile plastered his face as the finical minister stepped out of the room followed by the rest of the bored-faced team, "Everything alright James?"
"Of course it is! No we're just – you know, paper-work stuff," The boss rambled as Connor tried to keep the pain off his features due to the nails now digging into his skin, "And we were also saying maybe you'd like to see the garage – Kevin's probably tired you out with all that technical jargon so we could move onto the vehicle budget."
The minister eagerly nodded at the suggestion, glancing at the scientist who was still fiddling with his gadget as if in fear that he'd try to explain the item again, "That's a good idea," He replied, "I know that recently our departments been pondering over the concept of adding motorbikes to the collection – better accessibility around the streets and all that."
Becker and Connor, the latter who had managed to free his arm of his boss's grip shared a smirk at the words; both thinking how a motorbike here was nothing compared to what they could do with one in the open forest.
Though unfortunately Matt also noticed his brief exchange and also clued into the passing thought, remembering the men's discussion in the car a few days previous and he voiced the joke, "Well if we're getting motorbikes just keep them away from Connor – don't fancy getting run over."
Both men tensed at the casual comment, clearly the team leader didn't realise that he'd just stepped into shaky ground for them and it was clear that it had caused an effect as Abby turned a slight frown to the young scientist.
"But you can't drive a motorbike," She queried.
Before Connor had a chance to make an excuse the persistent team member went and opened his mouth once more, "He learnt in while they were living in the Cretaceous – they got a couple of bikes from a future period and would…" A flash of panicked realisation struck his face as his brain finally caught up with the information his mouth was alliterating, although he quickly smoothed it out and at least tried to hide what he's just said, "Well anyway – how about I take you down to where we keep the cars?"
The light tone was very convincing and if they're boss were anyone else the slip of the tongue probably would have been missed, however Lester was not one of those men.
"I'm sorry – did you just say they got bikes from a future anomaly?" He spluttered, that common sight of anger melting over his face, "And rode them around the Cretaceous period!"
"No, he asked if the finance minister would like to be taken down to see the cars," Connor quipped in an innocent tone, nudging Becker's elbow with indication to follow him out of the room, "Which I for one think is a task that could do with three men – we do own a lot of vehicles; this way sir – we've got an awesome collection –"
The scientist managed a few steps but there wasn't enough time to jump out of the Lester blast zone and the man began barking orders, "Everyone stop where you are! Matt – fetch a clean-up team, dimwits don't go anywhere and minister- " The glare he received reminded him who he was shouting at and his voice dropped back to overly considerate, "Sorry, I mean minister would you like to go and wait in our break room while we just get this mild error rectified."
The confused suit glanced around at the team members who were flicking nervous gazes between each other; he partially wanted to stay for the entertainment factor of it all but at the same time he remembered seeing some chocolate biscuits in the other room so he returned a small nod and departed the scene.
It seemed that responses had been held in until the stranger left because the second the tap of leather shoes faded down the corridor voices were shooting in all directions.
"Sir I'm sure there's no need to get a clean-up…"
"We'll go in ourselves and sort it out for you – just go and deal with the minister and it'll be –"
"Did I just spend the night on this device for nothing?"
"Lester man, you can't do that – it's not a big deal…"
"But you always hated the idea of motorbikes!"
A hand slammed down on the ADD desk and a high pitched electronic screech scraped across the room, sending the occupants to cry out covering their ears in pain; successfully stopping the complaints.
Lester released pressure from the button and stiffly shook his head from the discomfort; casting a glare over his colleagues his reply came with a no argument underline.
"Yes there is need for clean-up so go and fetch one," The answered pointed to the team leader, who despite bracing his shoulders put a finger to his ear-piece and began talking to the soldiers in the building.
Turning to Becker he continued, "I can't send you in because I don't trust you'll really carry out the task – who knows what other gadgets you stored up over time."
"Kevin," Lester sighed looking to the man holding out what seemed to be a pile of wires, "… I really don't care."
The hard tone marginally soften as it moved onto the young scientist, "Connor, that period may have been your home but it's policy to not contaminate the past – sorry."
"And…" Finally he glanced to the petite blonde whose gaze was focused on her ex-nearly boyfriend, "Actually your question wasn't for me."
Spinning on his heels Lester approached the ADD and picked up a spare ear piece – frowning at the device for a few moments in an effort to figure out how to activate it, before ordering, "Whoever's on the end of this thing go and keep the expensively suited man in the break room occupied, sit on him if you want but don't let him leave that room until I say so."
Turning back to his colleagues he took notice of the increasing muscle tension from the two old arrivals as the efficient security clean-up operational team began entering the area; Tasers clicking into gear and guns sliding into holsters.
Matt followed in last, his expression announcing guilt and displeasure for ending up the cause of having to destroy whatever it was Becker and Connor had created as a home in the far period.
Plus it wasn't as if he wanted to do this either, but as the boss he didn't have the luxury of personal motivations – of course many times he would ignore rules or take actions due to the friendship he wouldn't admit holding for his staff; however this was different, contamination of past eras was a serious issue – previous experiences of Cutter and Jenny being a prime example, he had to at last follow protocol.
"Team equipped and ready sir," Matt's ending tone not missed by many and the young scientist sent the man a curious glance for the subtle loyalty show to them who were practically strangers.
Restraining a sigh Lester stepped aside to allow the team to form their tactical position around the locked anomaly, "This isn't a guns blazing mission – just… just get rid of anything that doesn't belong in that time period."
Nods of understanding returned and an in-office scientist knelt next to the locking-device, tapping into the correct figures and watching as the ball of energy momentarily shrunk before rapidly expanding to leave shards of floating glass in the center of the room.
Becker had been refraining from comment or movement from the basis that his mind had been rapidly attempting to figure some way to alter this situation, however he had nothing – and with a quick side glance it was clear neither did his friend.
So came the conclusion of out-right begging, "Look Lester – you can't do this, you don't understand we –"
The soldier had paced forward to block the time-crack but two officers were on him straight away, pinning his arms behind his back and struggling to maintain grip as they were met with the unexpected strength.
This set Connor off who charged towards the anomaly, sending two men flying to the ground as they attempted to block him, "You'll destroy them if you mess with our house!"
The shout broke into a cry as someone twisted his arm behind his back in a hold that could potentially snap the limb; teeth slicing into his lip he swung his head backwards causing the assailant to crumple down.
"Don't hurt them!" The order was a mixture of Matt and Lester as the army officers continued a forceful attack on the two men's path to the time-crack.
Becker was now free and another man collapsed as he leapt over the unconscious body to stumble into his friend's side; he brought his gun up as he felt Connor's hand slide the daggers from his waist-band – forming a united front denying access to their open anomaly.
A tense silence stretched throughout the Hub, the sharp pants of the officers signaling the only noise; fighting men from the pre-historic era did that to you.
The seconds continued, each person waiting for another to make the first statement.
Eventually it was Connor who took the step.
"Look," He spoke in a gentle tone, as if trying to sooth a wild animal, "We get that this is your job – that you're just doing what you think best."
Pausing he turned his gaze to his old boss, "But Lester man – you got to trust me… we can't let you destroy the house we built – you'll be killing our family."
Expressions of confusion slipped over the occupants as the choice of phrase and Abby stepped out of the tight group of soldiers, her wide eyes fixed on the young scientist, "What do you mean family?"
Before an answer could be given Kevin joined the conversation, gluing to his fiancées side, "Are you saying there are other people living with you in the Cretaceous?"
Becker inwardly smirked at the idea of thinking of their dinosaur friends as humans; they were hard enough to handle as it was.
Connor clearly sensed his friend's thought although his outer expression hadn't altered from its death glare as he threw a glinting glance at the man, "I wouldn't quite put it like that."
The soldier took the cue – restraining rolling his eyes at the movie dramatics of the action – and blew a piercing whistle.
It seemed that the guys really had been missing them because the second the noise vibrated Polly hopped out of the time-crack, hesitating at the sight of a strange old world; her heavy wings bristling at the fear of danger.
However Becker's face lit up at seeing his personal dino-bird, "Hey girl, long time no see."
The Pedopenna's head jerked up at the familiar voice and a fond rumble left her throat as she eagerly fluttered onto the man's shoulder; slapping a wing over his head as if reprimanding him for disappearing.
"Someone's in trouble," Connor chuckled, also feeling an ease settling in his stomach at the familiar sight.
"Well not all of us got to bring our kid with us," The soldier replied, running a hand through the creature's feathers but winching as she took a few nips of his skin; Polly was always slightly high strung whenever they left for an anomaly however it seemed that over a week was pushing it too far.
Connor was glancing around, looking for other figures he'd been expecting, "Speaking of kids – where's the rest of the gang?"
Both men had become oblivious to the knowledge that their show was being viewed by an array of co-workers; neither man saw the shocked expressions… or even Lester's hidden smirk from seeing that whatever happened the young scientist would always have a compulsion to make friends with the natives – flesh-eater or not.
It seemed Connor had strained his voice into the anomaly enough times to convince the remaining creatures to dare the adventure; Grace and Lola charged through first, altering course straight to the scientist's legs and ramming him to the floor in their form of an affectionate greeting.
The Pachycephalosaurs was last, entering in a fashion that involved pushing half a small boulder before him before quickly disappearing back through the crack to only re-appear with the other half.
Becker laughed at the young creature; whose head was flicking expectantly back and fore between the two friends and his broken boulder, "I said you'd break it eventually – we'll have to find you a new project now."
'Dim Dom' stared up at the soldier for a couple of seconds, then seemed to take the words into account as he began running head first into a nearby stone pillar.
He was never going to learn.
On the floor, Connor was beginning to have trouble breathing since the Ankylosaurus' clearly didn't understand that their armored body plates were heavy –and that his chest was not a suitable resting spot.
"Come on girls, don't kill me during the reunion," He wheezed, managing to push the dinosaurs away and fumble into a sitting position.
However Grace went straight back to nudging his arm and the curious linger in her gaze lit a bulb in the scientist's head and he returned to lie on the ground with a loud groan.
Becker asked the question with a raised eyebrow.
"Steve," Was the answering mutter.
A feminine scream pierced the halls just as the soldier drew a heavy blink at the thought of how angry the raptor was going to be at getting left in a closet.
Jess was on the heels of her cry, sprinting into the Hub and colliding with her boss – who surprisingly allowed the young girl to cling onto his jacket as she stared from where she'd just run with wide eyes.
Steve wasn't far behind; of course to those who hadn't raised the creature from an egg – plowing through the doorway, baring teeth in an echoing growl and taking out every item in an immediate radius showed clear signs of a predator lashing out for prey.
However for two people who had once witnessed the raptor cause a mudslide which took out 250 hectares of forest simply because Polly ate the meat chunk he'd been eyeing; this was just a child with a tantrum.
"Steve!" The scientist tried for the command tone however it presented him with a deeper growl so he switched to an off-setting grin, "Hey man – look we didn't mean to leave you in the cupboard for so long."
The raptor flicked his tail crushing another cabinet; clearly not impressed by the excuse.
Ignoring Lester's grumbles of 'I'm not running a damn petting zoo' the young man changed tactics and side-stepped to allow the creature a full view of the open anomaly.
"Does this buy me your forgiveness?"
Steve's head perked up as the scents of the forest hit his sensitive nostrils through the time-crack; although that didn't mean he moved over to join the collection with all moodiness gone – Connor still got his foot stood on.
The entirety of the room that had been excluded from the bizarre reunion gazed at the picture before them in shock, confusion and a tad of awe; it was like watching a cover shoot for some dinosaur magazine – two men (one hopping with a grip on his pained foot) flanked by prehistoric creatures who should have been taking bites out of their defenseless bodies, yet were instead showing protective tendencies.
It was definitely one of those 'you had to be there' moments.
Throughout the minutes Abby had been an onlooker in a contemplative silence, quite an uncharacteristic trait, and as more creatures had arrived she had witnessed her old friends' postures increasingly relax, their speech become more casual and less filtered as it had been since the return – and although her heart ached at the truth she knew what was about to happen.
Because this wasn't their home anymore.
For them it was 144 million years ago.
And seeing Connor bend down to whisper to the two Ankylosaurus', no tension in his muscles from the raptor breathing down his neck – and Becker unconsciously running his fingers through the bird-like animal on his shoulder as it leant further into his neck.
She finally understood.
Two pairs of eyes snapped to meet the sad but accepting gaze of their petite friend, slowly she stepped past the array of guards and cautiously approached the family; despite his sulking Steve's gaze still hardened at the stranger passing the appropriate boundary zone but the scientist placed a hand on his skin to inform permission for the woman to enter.
"I get it now," She continued, her voice was quiet, hints of water beginning to surface in her eyes as she placed a hand in each of theirs, "I think – well I think I just wanted none of this to have happened, you guys came back and I didn't want to believe five year had passed… just wanted everything back – everything that was ripped away from me."
Connor squeezed her hand at the small words, he been waiting for this, when Abby realised that the past and present weren't two things that could be intermingled after so long – but that didn't mean it wasn't painful to see the grief on her soft features.
She glanced to the man that in one life may have been her fiancée at the pressure and gave him a light smile, "You were that one who got away, I think if all this hadn't happened we would have been together – but I am happy with Kevin, I love him – but there's still always going to be a part of you with me… but, sorry for being all clingy and stuff."
The scientist offered a boyish grin, teasingly replying "No worries – I know how irresistible I am."
Abby chuckled as the soldier clipped the man around the head for joking when she was upset, but she didn't mind – it was nice to have Connor acting comfortably around her one more time; she knew he'd been wary and on edge due to her behavior.
"Try not to give him brain damage Becker," She smiled giving his hand a squeeze as well.
This earned a quirked eyebrow and rouge smirk, "Too late for that."
"Oh nice," Connor groaned, re-claiming his hand to hold it in-front of him, "Re-form our friendship by insulting me, thanks guys."
Abby laughed and pulled both men into a hug, tightening her grip as she whispered, "Thank you for giving me a goodbye."
Stepping back the soldier brought up her hand and placed a kiss on the palm, gently replying, "Look after yourself Abs."
"Yes sir," She choked, turning to face Connor who placed a hand on her cheek, smoothing away a tear with his thumb before placing a kiss to her forehead, "Bye you dinosaur geek."
The scientist smiled though his own eyes had water brimming, "Thanks for everything."
Then she forced herself to release her hold and move out of the circle she was no longer part of, moving back to Kevin's side who had watched the interaction with worry as the words had been too quiet to hear, she placed an arm around his waist and reached up to give a reassuring peck on his lips; grateful for the accepting nod he gave her rather than asking any questions – he'd had a hard week yet he was still here, it was one of those amazing qualities he held.
The finality of this movement seemed to be the signal to begin the farewells as Lester took a few steps forward, hands clasped behind his back and announced, "So you're finally going back then."
He smirked at the confusion that over-took his ex-employee's expressions and drawled, "You didn't expect me to believe you two would stay here? Please – I've been waiting for you to pack up and head home six hours after you arrived."
Becker raised an eyebrow at the information, "So why did you just try to destroy the home you were expecting us to return to a few minutes ago?"
"Well as the head of this rare department I have to follow protocol – however it's hardly my fault if as the operation was about to start two men broke through the security team, ran through the open anomaly and the locking device just happened to malfunction after them so we couldn't follow and carry out a clean-up operation," Lester replied in his professional smug tone, "Is it?"
Connor grinned at his old friend; he knew the man wouldn't hurt them like that – he really was an amazing boss, "Man you do love us!"
"Quite the contrary – I can't stand you, so please hurry up and leave," The words had no malice in them and the man's eyes held a hidden sadness as he gave his own form of goodbye.
"Couse Lester, we'll get out of your hair," The young scientist returned, "However…"
Suddenly he lunged forward and pulled the prim man into a gripping hug, laughing as he fought against the embrace and released the traditional shout of, "Connor!"
The young man jumped away at the cry, "Just wanted to hear that one more time," He smirked, nudging Becker in the side who simply rolled his eyes and leant forward to share a handshake with their old boss, passing a nod of thanks and respect to the man who would always be there to bend rules for the needs of his team.
Lester moved away, grimacing as Grace started nudging his leg and Matt took his place; he clapped a firm hand on both of the men's shoulders with a wide grin, "It was nice meeting you guys."
"You too – I'll try not to shoot you if we ever meet again," Becker responded, returning a slap on the man's shoulder.
"I'd like to see you try," He quipped, offering Connor a nod who replied with a wide grin before taking place among his team once more.
Glancing around the Hub the two men took in the surrounding faces of the team, those old and new – before looking to each other with a silent agreement.
"Let's go home," The scientist concluded, placing a hand on his raptor's neck.
"Might as well," The soldier smirked.
And in sync they disappeared through the anomaly, the shards of time-glass flickering around their forms as two men followed a predator back into history.
Suddenly a flustered Connor stumbled back, throwing a sheepish grin to the room, "Sorry – forgot someone."
And he grabbed 'Dim Dom' who was still running head first into a concrete pillar.
With one leg in the past he turned to catch the gaze of the man he hadn't got a chance to get to know the good side of; with a smile he titled his head – eyes reading the words, 'Look after her.'
Kevin held the look, understanding the meaning that passed and return his own softened expression, 'I will.'
And then the last of the history travelers vanished for the last time; the anomaly gently expanding before sucking into nothing – as if even it had sensed that it couldn't have closed before what was rightfully its had returned.
Standing side by side two friends watched the rising sun peek over the mountains behind the glistening lake that lay next to a prideful tree with what was their home carved into it.
Glancing side-ways Becker draped a casual arm around the man's frame, "Fancy a drag-race?"
His eyes still on the view that had caused unease to completely leave his stomach the young scientist felt a smirk etch his features, "You're on."
And both sprinted off to their motorbike shed – two armored creatures fighting to trip them up by running between their legs as a raptor tore ahead with a competitive desire to win whatever game was happening, with a feathered Pedopenna comically bouncing up and down on its shoulder perch from the fast motion.
Whilst Dom began work on his new boulder.
Thank you once more :) x