Kissing It Better by alyse [ - ]
Printer - Text Size +

Category: Primeval > Het > Abby/Connor
Characters: Abby Maitland, Connor Temple
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Angst, First Time, Hurt Comfort, Romance
Warnings: None

Summary: Sometimes all it takes is a kiss.

Story Notes:
Written for the Primeval Ficathon as a pinch hit for black_rose_fics, whose prompt was Connor and Abby get together..

The thing about hospital coffee was that no matter how much you drank, it never got any better. Especially when the drinking was done at two a.m. on a Wednesday morning.

Abby hated that she knew that.

She swirled the dregs around in her cup, staring down into the bottom like it held the answer to questions she couldn't even pull together, not when the adrenaline rush was finally dying down, leaving her exhausted and shaking in its wake. At least two a.m. Wednesday was one of the few times that A&E was quiet, that was something. It would get busier later in the week, when the drunks started rolling in, but for now there was only her and the receptionist in the waiting room, although Connor wasn't the only one in a cubicle behind the double doors.

They'd poked him and prodded him and x-rayed him before they'd finally shooed her out while they plastered his arm. A clean break, they'd told her. He'd be fine - people broke their arms all of the time and Connor was one of the lucky ones. He wouldn't need surgery to set it.

She didn't feel like Connor was one of the lucky ones, not after today. Intellectually, she'd known that prehistoric ice age elk were huge - she'd even seen the remnants of one in the Natural History Museum when she was twelve, seen it and been dwarfed by it. But seeing the inanimate remains of one and seeing one bearing down on Connor, all hooves and hugely dangerous antlers, were two different things

She was never going to forget seeing him flying through the air, or the sound he'd made as he landed.

Maybe he was lucky, after all. Lucky to be alive

She took another sip at her coffee, grimacing at the bitter, soapy taste of it. Her shoulder twinged, the tension tight across her neck, and she rolled it, grimacing again as the pain hit, between her shoulders this time, the stiffness continuing up the back of her neck and marking the beginnings of a headache.

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, consciously relaxing the muscles one by one, trying to centre herself and forget the sounds Connor made, the softly swallowed whimpers of pain as she helped him to the car.

It didn't work, but it beat the pacing she'd been doing for the last hour and a half.

"Ms Maitland?"

The sound of her name startled her, and she sat up so abruptly that her back twinged again on her.


"Ah." The doctor - young and good-looking, in a dark, nervy kind of a way - eyed her for a moment before putting on a practiced smile. "Mr Temple is ready to go home. I have a care sheet here, and we've given him a prescription for painkillers. He'll probably need them. Broken arms can be quite painful." He gave her another one of those smiles but it faltered in the face of her silence. "We'll schedule a follow up appointment for him at the fracture clinic next week, but please don't hesitate to contact us if either of you have any concerns before then. The number's on the info sheet.

"I think the nearest all night chemist is Boots on the High Street. You should be able to fill the script there."

He paused, obviously waiting for something, and it took a second for her to click and give him the nod he needed, showing that she'd understood the simple instructions. The smile he gave her this time bordered on the patronising, but maybe that was just her projecting. For all of his smiles and the gentle lilt to his voice, he was obviously impatient to be off doing anything other than talking to her.

"Thank you," she said belatedly, taking the prescription from his outstretched hand. He flashed her another smile, twitchy but more genuine, and for a second the mask slipped and she saw just how tired he was - a kindred spirit, with a job that demanded more than he probably knew how to give. This time the smile of thanks she gave him was real.

Connor was silent all the way to the High Street, looking pale and washed out. She took a chance, parking in one of the loading bays and leaving him in the car while she darted in, the prescription clutched tightly in her hand. Not even the most dedicated of traffic wardens would be patrolling at this time of night, and there were too few people around, wandering drunkenly and aimlessly, for there to be much of a police presence. Even so, she stalked impatiently up and down the aisles, waiting for the on-duty pharmacist to fill the prescription and ignoring the darkness outside.

She grabbed a bottle of coke from one of the chiller cabinets when they finally called Connor's name, paying for it with the prescription charge at the counter, and handed it to Connor, with the small white bag containing his tablets, as soon as she got back to the car.

He tried opening the bag one-handed, awkwardly with much rustling of paper, and she was torn between trying to give him some dignity or dealing with the practicalities and worrying about everything else later. As always, the practicalities won. It was strangely intimate, opening Connor's pills for him, popping the first one out of its neat foil enclosure and placing it gently in the palm of his good hand. She opened the bottle for him as well, watching as he swallowed the tablet down, his eyes closing for a brief moment as his throat moved.

"Thanks," he said when he'd taken another swig and handed the bottle back to her. His voice was gravelly, not sounding at all like Connor. "If this works, I think I might love you a lot."

She tapped the neck of the plastic coke bottle against her lip and then took a sip without wiping the mouth, the way she used to do when she was fifteen and had a crush on John Maloney and that was as close as she got to kissing him.

"Only if it works?" she asked. Her voice was a rough as his; she'd screamed when he'd hit the ground. Screamed and yelled and maybe even cried when the elk was finally down, when the tranquillisers had finally kicked in and Connor was trying to sit up, pale with his face streaked with blood and his eyes wide and shocked but breathing, thank God. Breathing.

"Yeah, well..." Connor was obviously trying to marshal his thoughts, but it was equally obvious that they weren't cooperating.

She snorted, the sound soft, and resisted the urge to touch his cheek, where the long, thin scratch was already starting to scab over. Strange how much a little thing like that had bled. "I bet you say that to all the girls who keep you supplied with the good drugs," she said and he smiled, his eyes closed.

He didn't open them when she added, "C'mon." There were dark circles under his eyes, the skin so thin as to be almost translucent there. "Let's go home."


Rex was circling the loft when they headed up the stairs, both of their treads heavy with exhaustion. He chittered at them nervously, head bobbing as he came to land on the banister, sidling closer. Connor reached out with his good arm to touch Rex's head, pulling his hand back when Rex jerked back, eyeing the cast on his arm nervously. It was something new, out of place, and Rex was wild, for all that he chose to share his life with them. Something new could be something dangerous, and if she'd had more energy she'd have tried to explain that to Connor, whose face was blank. Instead, she said, "Cup of tea?"

"Yeah." Connor rubbed his hand over his face, the other one, encased in white plaster that shone in the dim lounge light, peeking out from beneath his jacket. "That would be good."

When she came back from putting the kettle on to boil, he'd sat down on the sofa and was staring out of the window, at the streetlights outside. "You okay?" she asked, unable to force the softness from her voice and put the steel back into it.

"I've never broken anything before," he said. "I mean, not really. I tripped over the dog once. Twisted my ankle. But..." He trailed off, smiling at her wanly, and then: "How am I going to shower?"

"We have carrier bags, cling film and duct tape," she said. "I'm sure we'll cope somehow."

He smiled at her, but there were thin lines around the corner of his mouth. "Does this mean I can't get you to wash my back?"

"Dream on," she said, and this was familiar, this not quite flirting they'd been doing for months.

His head dropped back, until it came to rest on the sofa cushion behind him. For a second he let his guard down, the lines of pain now clear on his face. He wasn't whining about it, and that, more than anything, told Abby how bad it was.

"Do you need another painkiller?" she asked quietly.

He shook his head, just once, and opened his eyes long enough to say, "Can't take another one for a while, right?"

"I could check?"

He shook his head again, pushing himself awkwardly back up into a more upright sitting position, trying to get comfortable. When he'd settled again, he gave her another smile, one that also faded a little bit around the edges. "You could always try kissing it better."

"Dream on," she said again, absently this time, her full attention on Connor, on the expressions crossing Connor's face. He never had been able to keep anything hidden.

"Has the kettle boiled yet?"

"Nag, nag, nag. I suppose I'd better get used to running around after you, at least for the next few weeks, but don't think I'll forget it."

"Wouldn't expect you to."

She snorted, pushing herself up onto her feet and moving in the direction of the kitchen.

"Hey, Abby?"

She paused by the doorway. "Yeah?"

"Think I could get Cutter to sign my cast?"

She heard him, for once clearly. Everything he was trying to say and everything he wasn't.

Thank you. I was worried. You were worried.


"You could ask," she said. "You could even ask him to kiss it better, if you're feeling particularly stupid."

"I think I'd rather ask Jenny," she could hear him mutter as she moved on. "Less scary."

She'd left it too long and the kettle had gone off the boil. She switched it on again, leaning against the counter as it started its slow build up back to whistling. The grocery list was on the fridge, all those things they meant to get today and hadn't got around to it. All those normal things before giant prehistoric elk burst into their lives, pawing the ground and challenging their very existence, the right to be in a world that no longer belonged to the stag.

She shivered, feeling very much like someone had walked over her grave. They'd need new things now, like surgical tape rather than duct tape to keep Connor's cast dry while he showered. She picked up the red pen attached to the whiteboard and added it to the list before turning back to the now boiling kettle.

Her handbag was off to one side - not one she used often, but she'd gone out with some friends two days ago and had never got around to putting it away again. There were lots of things she hadn't got around to, and today had reminded her forcibly about that. Strange how it worked, how these things kept happening to them and they kept shrugging them off when they walked away, battered and bruised sometimes but not actually injured.

Until today.

They couldn't put the shopping off anymore, and she wasn't going to put anything else off any longer either.

The lipstick she pulled out was as red as the pen she still held, and it took a matter of moments to apply it. Her hands barely shook. She was proud of that, after the day she'd had. And the rest of the day she was going to have.

Connor opened his eyes when she walked back into the room, black pen in one hand and red in the other. It took him a second and then he frowned slightly, once again struggling to sit upright. "Are you going out?"

There were lots of ways she could answer that. Never again. Not without you. A lot of stupid, soppy ways that wouldn't mean anything to Connor.

"Here," she said instead, sliding her hand carefully under Connor's wounded one. The knuckles were scabbing over as well, and she hadn't noticed that earlier.

"What are you doing?"

She lowered her head, pressing her red lips against the whiteness of his cast. When she pulled back, the imprint of her lips was clear. The black pen came next, and then the red, and then she was left staring down at the results of her handiwork, her heart thudding in her chest.

"Don't do that again," she said, her voice low and intense, and was greeted with silence. When she looked up, Connor was watching her, his eyes just as wide, and he nodded shakily before a smile slowly stretched itself across his face. He opened his mouth, and she could almost hear the words before he spoke them - Kissing it better? - but in the end he settled for silence and that was good, too.

She stretched out for one of the scatter cushions and gently positioned it under Connor's arm, a little way from his body. When he settled his cast on it, she moved, easing herself up until she was straddling his thighs, careful not to jostle him. She stared down at him, at his dark eyes, at his shy smile, one that was shading into brilliance.

"Still want Cutter to kiss it better?" she asked archly. "Or Jenny?"

He shook his head. "No," he said, the fingers of his other hand coming to rest on her hip. Not moving, just resting, lightly, as though he wasn't sure of his welcome. "Not them. Just you."

And so she did.

The End