Pairing/s: Connor / Ryan
Word Count: 100 x 15
Notes: For primeval100: challenge 250: Past challenges
Using prompts: 16- This is where you duck, 15- Ooops!, 192- Flesh and Blood, 196- Phobia, 22- Ryan, 31- Diligence, 77- Accomplished, 161- The Permian, 148- I’ve got chills… and they’re multiplying, 116- TLC- Tender Loving Care, 88- Hunger, 91- Water, water everywhere, 118- Meat and two veg, 51- Stephen Hart, 69- Comfort
The creature came up on them faster than they realised, catching them up with effortless speed as they dived for gap in the cliffs. Ryan hoped it was a cave. If not, then they would just be pinning themselves down and offering themselves up as lunch for this thing.
He saw the claws out of the corner of his eye, knew they’d make contact.
His young lover was too slow and Ryan knew it. As he pushed Connor to the ground he felt the burning pain as the claws raked through his flesh.
They had to keep moving.
The creature had gone, given up in favour of pursuing the herd of smaller animals that had stumbled into its path half an hour ago, giving Ryan and Connor time to assess the damage.
When he saw Ryan’s shoulder, Connor paled. “It did that when you pushed me out of its way, didn’t you? You got hurt because of me.”
“But it was my mistake that got us stuck here in the first place,” Connor said. “I’m so sorry.”
Ryan beckoned Connor closer. “Enough. It wasn’t your fault, any of it. Now, help me get my shoulder patched up.”
“I can’t do it! Please, Ryan…”
Ryan closed his eyes and took a deep breath as another wave of pain washed over him. The gash down his right shoulder was still bleeding freely and it hurt like hell.
“Conn, we’re stuck here, the anomaly has gone, and if you don’t do this I could end up bleeding out and you’ll be left all on your own.”
He knew it was a low blow but it made Connor stop his fretting and listen.
“All you’ve got to do is disinfect the wound and stitch it. I can’t reach where it is.”
“There’s so much blood… Ryan, I’m not so good with blood.” He glanced at Ryan’s shoulder and swayed slightly.
Ryan grabbed the front of Connor’s shirt and yanked him closer. “You’re going to get the first aid kit and you’re going to do this, okay?” he said softly.
Connor nodded, still trying not to look at the blood. He couldn’t help it; the sight of blood made him panic but Ryan needed him right now.
“I can do this,” he said to himself, picking up the first aid kit. His hands were shaking as he looked for the surgical thread.
Ryan tried not to flinch each time the needle went into the already painful skin, knowing that it would just freak Connor out if he thought he was hurting Ryan even more. Despite his earlier panic, Ryan was proud of how Connor was handling this. He’d seen Connor shaking when he saw the blood, saw him almost pass out, but he hadn’t. With a determined look on his face, Connor was doing what needed to be done.
What more could he ask for?
“How are you doing?” he asked. “Everything ok?”
Ryan smiled when he heard Connor’s distracted reply.
Connor was concentrating on each stitch, trying to get them all the same size, the same distance apart. If it was keeping his mind off everything else then that was a good thing, Ryan thought.
“You know, it doesn’t have to be perfect,” he said.
“Sorry- am I taking too long? I was just trying to get it right. I didn’t want you to have a big scar because I made a mess of this.”
Ryan shook his head. “I’m going to have a scar there anyway, Conn. It can go with the rest of my collection,” he added, joking.
A few minutes later, Connor bandaged around Ryan’s shoulder, fastening it with a safety pin.
“There, all done. Does that feel alright?”
Ryan pushed himself into a sitting position and moved his arm tentatively. It was going to hurt, he had no illusions about that, but he could feel that the stitches were holding and the bandage wasn’t catching anywhere it shouldn’t.
“You did a good job,” he said, seeing the delight on Connor’s face as he said it. After letting Connor help him back on with his jacket, he moved around to slide his good arm around his waist.
They were trapped in the Permian, with barely any food, no water except a bottle of Strawberry flavoured that Connor had in his bag, and no way back. Once Ryan had been patched up, they could stop and take stock. Their main priority was food. Connor’s chocoholic tendencies supplied them with two bars of dairy milk, and Ryan had a couple of energy bars and packet of mints, but that wouldn’t last long.
“So, you’re the expert,” Ryan said. “What creatures can we expect out there?”
Tomorrow, they would need to go hunting and he wanted to be well prepared.
Night fell and with it the temperature. Huddled in the back of the cave, Connor didn’t know where to sit. He wanted to cuddle up in the hope of getting them both a bit warmer, but he didn’t dare in case he hurt Ryan. In the end, Ryan took the decision from him.
“Come over here. Sit on my left and you’ll be fine,” he said, wrapping an arm around Connor, sharing what little heat they had. He just hoped the temperature wouldn’t drop too much further.
Despite the cold, Ryan fell asleep almost immediately, his injury sapping his strength.
Connor sat awake for most of the night, watching Ryan sleep. He looked pale, but that was probably from blood loss, and he was shivering slightly too. What was it about injured people, that you were supposed to wake them every hour? No, he thought, that was for head injuries. Ryan would not appreciate being woken up if he didn’t need to be; he needed to rest in order to heal.
Eventually, Connor fell asleep too, but he would wake every so often to check on Ryan. After all, Ryan would take care of him if their situations were reversed.
Ryan had been teaching Connor to hunt with their homemade bow and arrows. So far, if they hadn’t had the chocolate and energy bars, they would have starved.
“Maybe you should try throwing rocks at them instead,” Ryan suggested as the arrow bounced off a tree, scaring away the little reptile that might have been lunch. Honestly, Connor’s aim couldn’t be any worse no matter what he was firing.
“How about fishing instead?” Connor said. “All I’ve got to do there is put a hook in the water.”
“You’ve got to catch some worms as bait, first,” Ryan pointed out.
It was afternoon before they managed to rig up a fishing line and catch the bait, making the short walk to the lake they’d found the previous day. It was fresh water- which solved their drinking water problem- and stretched out over a huge area. Creatures came to drink here, but Connor and Ryan were careful to avoid them.
It turned out that Connor was much more successful at fishing than he was at catching anything on land. When he pulled the first fish in he beamed delightedly, before eyeing it, slightly bewildered.
“What do we do with it now?”
“What do you mean? We eat it.”
Connor shook his head. “No, I mean won’t it have all the yucky bits still in it?”
“We take those out,” Ryan told him, laughing.
After catching one more, they went back to their camp to prepare their fish, along with some berries and leaves that Connor had deemed edible.
“It’s like a proper meal, isn’t it?” he said, chewing thoughtfully on a mouthful of baked fish. “Meat and two veg.”
Ryan smiled at his enthusiasm. “Well you can’t say I never take you anywhere nice,” he joked. “Good view, freshly caught meal…”
When the anomaly reopened a week later, Connor had never been so glad to see anyone than he had Stephen. Apart from Ryan, this was the first person he’d seen in almost two weeks.
“We can go home!”
Throwing his arms around Stephen he was met with an amused chuckle. “Nice to see you too, Connor, but Ryan is giving me dirty looks over your shoulder,” he joked.
Connor let him go, looking embarrassed. “Sorry. I’m just really glad you’re here.”
Making sure they hadn’t left anything behind, Ryan and Connor followed the team back through the anomaly, toward home.
That night, once Ryan’s wounds had been checked and they’d both been debriefed, Connor sank gratefully into Ryan’s nice, soft bed with a happy sigh.
“Comfy, are you?” Ryan asked.
Connor nodded. “After two weeks of sleeping on the ground in a draughty cave? Oh yes.” He patted the bed next to him.
Ryan smiled as he got into the empty space, pulling the covers over them both, letting Connor snuggle against him. It was a relief to be able to relax, not to be constantly on alert after their time in the past.
It was good to be home.