Fairground Attraction by alyse [ - ]
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Category: Primeval > Slash and Femslash > Slash
Characters: Connor Temple, Other
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Action/Adventure, Hurt Comfort, Pre-slash
Warnings: None

Summary: When they got out of here, Tom was going to make damned sure that Lester authorised those requisitions for armour piercing rounds even if he had to roll them up and shove them up the man's arse to get his attention.

Pairing: Connor/Ryan

Story Notes:
Written for because I know she wants Connor/Ryan fic.

Written for mmom. Thanks to aithine for the rapid beta.

If he'd had a choice about the person he had to be trapped in a confined space with, Tom Ryan wouldn't exactly have put Connor at the top of the list. Not that he had anything against the kid personally, but given that there was currently something large and scaly prowling around outside, not to mention hungry, he'd have preferred someone who was packing a little more firepower.

Tom was almost out of ammo, not that it had done any fucking good in the first place. Connor had muttered something about 'body density' and 'thick hides' in amongst his 'Oh my god, we're going to die!'s but since he hadn't offered anything constructive - like where to aim - Tom had ignored him as he half dragged and half shoved him towards the only place that looked like it stood half a chance of keeping them out of the reach of that whatever-the-fuck-it-was-osaur.

There was one thing for sure, though. When they got out of here, Tom was going to make damned sure that Lester authorised those requisitions for armour piercing rounds even if he had to roll them up and shove them up the man's arse to get his attention.

When, not if. If wasn't even an option, not when Connor was crouched, shaking, next to him, his fingers desperately pressing his scarf against Tom's side.

Right after he got Lester to authorise those requisitions, he was going to make him sign off on leave as well. Forget the thing's hide - its claws were sharper than his ex-wife's tongue and had hurt like a fucking bitch when they'd caught him, sliding neatly under his tac-vest like the thing knew exactly where to fucking aim.

"It's still bleeding," Connor stammered, eyes darting up again towards the door. He didn't blame the kid - he could hear it too, the heavy stomp-stomp as whatever it was tried to track them down.

"It'll stop," Tom said. "It's just a scratch."

Connor tore his eyes away from the door long enough to give him a look of utter disbelief, but his hands didn't ease off; if anything, they pushed harder, the sharp stab of pain forcing Tom's breath out in a hiss between his teeth.

The footsteps outside slowed, stopped, and where there had been light underneath the door there was now an ominous shadow. Connor scooted closer, his shoulder pressing against Tom's arm, shudders running through his body. There was a 'whuffing' sound as something too fucking big for semi-rural England shoved its snout against the bottom of the door and sniffed.

"I think it can smell the blood," Connor whispered. His hands were still shaking, which was the only reason Tom bit back on the sarcastic remark that rose automatically to his lips.

Forget ammo; he'd have preferred someone a little less panicked.

That wasn't fair. To give Connor all due credit, he was coping better than Tom had expected. Than he had a right to expect given that there was something large and prehistoric that wanted to eat them just outside the door.

I'll huff and I'll puff…

The old story rose unbidden to his mind and he bit down on the laughter. Maybe Connor wasn't the only one pushed a little too far. Tom wasn't exactly ice cold calm and collected himself at the moment. Adrenaline had the habit of kicking in and fuelling the flight or fight response, which was fantastic when you were literally running for your fucking life, but it left you jumped up and wrung out afterwards.

He needed to distract Connor - and himself.

"Any idea what it is?"

Not exactly the most reassuring of conversational openers, but he was a little stressed out and small talk had never been his forte.

Connor shook his head, the whites of his eyes - wide around his dark irises - gleaming a little in the dim light. "Um… It's big." No shit. "Therapod, obviously. The body shape… and it's a carnivore. Big head in proportion to its body. Baryonyx, maybe? But they ate fish…"

"And we don't have gills," Tom observed dryly. Connor looked at him, blinked once and then obviously decided it was a joke, mustering up a shaky smile from somewhere.

"No," he agreed, eyes sliding slowly back to the door, where the light was still dim. "But something from that family, maybe. Not big enough to be Spinosaurus, and there's no sail…"

"They get bigger?"

Connor looked back at him and then something large - too fucking large even if it wasn't a Spinosaurus - thudded against the door, sending dust flying into the air. Connor shrank even closer, his breath hot and rapid against Tom's neck. His fingers loosened nervously, relaxing their grip on the makeshift bandage, and blood - or sweat - began to trickle down Tom's side. But he snapped out of it more quickly than Tom expected, taking a deep breath and putting the pressure back onto Tom's side, forcing another grunt out of him.

"Think the door will hold for long enough?" Connor asked. The words were fast, pitched a little high, but the panic was - for now - contained, and Connor wasn't moving away, putting as much distance between the door and himself as possible. Instead he was staying right there, right by Tom's side.

Probably a really stupid fucking thing to do under the circumstances.

"Any signal yet?"

Connor's head dropped, ostensibly to check on the bandage but the words that drifted up were shaken and ashamed. "I dropped my phone."

He couldn't exactly yell at Connor - apart from anything else, it wasn't Connor's responsibility to get them out of this; it was Tom's. And Tom had managed to break his bloody radio, probably when that thing had knocked him off his feet, clawing at his side.

"Okay." He kept his voice calm and even. "Any ideas about how we get people's attention?"

"What? You don't think a twelve foot bloody dinosaur is going to do it?"

Okay, Connor's tone was a little uncalled for but, given the circumstances, Tom was willing to let it slide.

"Any other ideas?"

Connor's head came up, that brain working away on the problem. Kid was smart, Tom would give him that. Smart and resourceful if a little weird, if Tom's observations over the past few months were anything to go by. He nudged Connor with his elbow, gently, just to get the younger man looking at him. "We're in the middle of an abandoned funfair, Connor. Not sure a large dino would look that out of place."

It took a second for Connor to muster up another smile but he managed it eventually before ducking his head again, focusing on the hands he had pressed to Tom's side - more, Tom thought, because he was embarrassed than any other reason. It was - God help him - almost cute, and that wasn't the kind of thought to have under the circumstances, but adrenaline did other things too. Fight, flight or fuck usually.

But Connor had no reason to be embarrassed. He'd been the one to pull Tom to his feet, darting in while the predator had been busy skidding to a halt and trying to manoeuvre around locked up rides so it could to come back for another pop at him. Connor had been the one who'd had his scarf off and pressed against Tom's side just as soon as he'd realised that the reason Tom was staggering a little wasn't just because he was winded.

He was a good kid. Maybe Tom should tell him that, before it was too late.

And that wasn't the right attitude to have. He closed his eyes, pulling on his reserves of strength. The wound wasn't even that deep - he'd been right when he told Connor that it would stop bleeding eventually. It was simply the shock, the unreality of being chased through a funfair by something out of Jurassic Park.

"I bloody hate funfairs," he said.

Connor laughed, the sound low and unexpected.

"I don't like clowns much myself," he said, raising his head just enough to give Tom a conspiratorial, confiding look.

"Don't blame you," agreed Tom. "Freaky buggers." He waited until Connor grinned again and then asked, mildly, "Any ideas yet?"

Connor was more focused now, colour back in his cheeks as he rocked back on his heels. One hand stayed pressed against Tom's side, though, and it was rather reassuring that Connor was that with it. His eyes were scanning the room, brain already cataloguing what they had to hand. Cutter had a good team, for all that half the time they drove Tom and his men absolutely nuts. But then Connor was the one who had, with Abby, fought off a mosasaur with only an oar. Tom shouldn't keep underestimating him. Any of them.

"Think the power is still on?" Connor asked.

Tom shrugged, watching his face. "Maybe, maybe not. Why?"

Connor eased back even further, eyeing up a grey, metal cabinet on the other side of the room. "I think that's the power source for something."

"For what?"

He shrugged. "One of the rides, maybe?" Then he looked back at Tom, his face still scared but determined, overlaid with a veneer of not particularly well applied bravado. "Prehistoric monster, meet loud and freaky ride."

Oh, yeah. He was smart. Tom grinned, showing his teeth, which weren't as big and sharp as their visitor's but weren't much less dangerous. "See if you can't get the funhouse going. See what the bastard makes of clowns."

Connor grinned again, a little waveringly, and started to move away. He stopped abruptly before he'd done more than shift his weight, glancing down at where his hand pressed his blood stained scarf against Tom's body. When he looked up again, his expression was torn.

"Leave it," Tom ordered. When Connor didn't comply immediately, he snapped out impatiently, "Just shove the ends down under my belt and do what you need to, Connor."

Still Connor looked torn. And shocked. "I can't just shove my hands down your pants." He swallowed nervously, glancing back towards the door and then down again, down to where his blue scarf was purple now, dark with Tom's blood. "Apart from anything else, I don't even know your first name!"

Now that was Connor, all inconsequence and strange logic. Tom didn't bother biting back a laugh of his own, watching as Connor blinked slowly, surprised and unable to hide it. "It's Tom. And it's going to be okay, all right?" He kept his voice low, calm, leaning into Connor as Connor watched him, fear warring with trust on his face. "And I'm not going to object to you sticking your hands down my pants, but you could have picked a better time to offer." Now that finally got a smile - a shaky one, one that was on the verge of tears maybe, the adrenaline starting to wear off and the crash looming. For both of them. But Connor would hold it together for as long as needed. Tom was betting his life on it. "But for now, do as you're told and scoot."

That finally shattered the frozen indecision holding Connor in place. With another look at Tom - part terrified, part pleading but again overlaid with that aura of resilience in spite of it - he peeled his hands away reluctantly. He did exactly what Tom had asked, though, tucking the ends of his scarf into the top of Tom's BDUs, being - in spite of their rush - as gentle as possible while securing it. And then he wiped his hands on his jeans, leaving rusty streaks behind, and, sparing Tom a pained, scared look, finally darted across the floor, staying low, on his hands and knees even though the monster was on the other side of the wall and couldn't see through concrete.

Another snort under the door and their friend was back. Connor froze again - they both did - until the shadow moved away. It wouldn't move far - Connor was right, it could smell dinner right in there with them, and if it decided to simply batter its way in, the door wouldn't hold.

He turned back towards Connor, ready to admonish him again, keep him focused, but Connor had - once again - beaten him to it, examining the rusty padlock that kept the cabinet closed.


He waved his hand in Tom's direction, like that was going to do any good. Tom pulled it from the sheath strapped to his leg, and held it out, waiting until it finally dawned on Connor that Tom was still walking-wounded - well, sitting in this instance - and scuttled back over, sparing him a slightly sheepish look as he did so.

He winced as Connor attacked the padlock with more gusto than accuracy or efficiency and mentally added another k-bar to the list of things he was putting on that requisition for Lester to sign off on. Still, if it got the pair of them out of here in one piece, it was a small sacrifice to make.

The padlock finally gave way to Connor's enthusiasm in a shower of rust, and the cabinet door swung open with a loud creak. Tom's gaze darted back to the door as he held his breath and waited for something large and impatient to investigate, but so far, so good.

Connor had been right. When he swung his head back in the student's direction, the contents of the cabinet were now revealed - a twisting collection of switches, transformers and wires. Tom would be buggered if he could figure out what the hell they were for, but Connor didn't seem to be at a loss, muttering to himself as he poked and prodded, thankfully not with the knife. He'd be hard pressed to explain to Cutter why he'd rescued his student from a dinosaur only to let the stupid bugger electrocute himself.

And then Connor made a sound, a quick cry of triumph, and lunged for something just as something lunged for the door. Tom has a split second to brace himself, snatching up his weapon and aiming it as the door creaked alarmingly, and then the harsh sound of calliope music blared loudly through the air.

It did exactly as Connor had intended, driving away their unwanted visitor, who was hopefully as confused by the lights and the motion as much as the sound. Maybe they'd be lucky and the bloody thing would brain itself on the carousel trying to eat one of the wooden horses.

Connor was grinning at him, face bright and enthused, and he had to grin back. Hell of a save on Connor's part. Hell of a kid - no. Hell of a man.

Connor crawled back over to him, instinct - he was pleased to note - meaning that he was staying close to the ground even after the immediate danger had appeared to pass. He'd made a soldier of the man yet, or die in the trying.

"Nice save, Connor." Connor grinned more widely, eyes dancing and face flushed with triumph and relief. "Now get over here and shove your hands back down my pants."

The End