Pairing: Connor Temple / Tom Ryan
Word Count: 1,570
Summary: Ryan gets hurt while protecting Connor.
Connor looked up in horror as the creatures veered to the right. They had been peaceful up until now but something must have scared them as they started to run, and they were coming straight toward him.
“Get out of the way!”
Frantically trying to pick up his laptop and bag, Connor felt the wind being knocked out of him as someone tackled him, sending him crashing to the ground. A split second later, Connor heard a pissed-off roar and then a smash. He looked back in time to see the creature stomp straight over his laptop, crushing it into mangled pieces. Another moment and that would have been him, he thought, unable to stop staring at it.
“Connor, what the hell were you playing at? If I tell you to move your arse out of the way you do it straight away! Your sodding laptop is not worth getting killed for!”
Not any more, Connor thought, looking at the debris again. He had most of the database backed up on a memory stick but there were other things on there too, things he didn’t have backed up. Maybe he could get Duncan to have a go at salvaging the data from the hard drive, if there was enough of it left…
A hand shook his shoulder gently, making him turn his attention to his rescuer. He found himself looking into Ryan’s worried eyes.
“Are you hurt?”
Connor shook his head, only then noticing the way that Ryan flinched when he sat upright. When he moved, Connor saw how he was holding himself, trying not to lean on his right side.
“I’m fine, but you don’t look as though you are.”
Ryan pushed himself to his feet and held out a hand to help Connor up, teeth gritted as he insisted that he was fine.
“One of those things caught me with it’s tail as I tried to get past it.”
Trying to get to me, Connor thought to himself. He couldn’t help it; if anyone was going to drop something, or get chased by whatever it was they were looking for, he could bet good money that it would always be him. His mum used to say he was accident prone when he was a kid, a nicer way of telling him he was careless as his dad had done. No matter how careful he tried to be, however, it all kept happening to him.
Now he’d managed to get Ryan hurt too.
“I’m really sorry.”
Before Ryan could say anything, Cutter and Abby were hurrying over to them, Stephen following close behind. Cutter cast him a ‘you’re an idiot’ look, one that he’d seen more times than he cared to remember.
“You two okay?”
Ryan started to nod but Connor cut in with, “He’s hurt.” That earned him a glare from Ryan and the insistence that he was alright. Stephen eyed Ryan sceptically, not believing a word of it, and then Abby was calling in to Lester to let him know what had happened.
“We’re wasting time,” Ryan pointed out. “It’s just a few bruised ribs, that’s all; I’ve had worse. Our priority should be finding those things before they do any damage.”
It seemed that he had no choice in the matter, however, as they seemed to have already decided that Stephen could track the creatures and then he, Cutter and Abby would be able to handle them with the rest of Ryan’s team. What Connor took from the discussion, however, was that he hadn’t been included. Typical, he thought miserably; he was a liability, so they didn’t want him to help.
“I’ll drive Tom to the hospital,” he offered, trying to keep the disappointment off his face and pretend that he hadn’t noticed their exclusion.
Abby offered him a sympathetic look, seeing straight through his façade. “Good idea," she said, watching as Ryan stalked off to the car, not looking particularly happy about having to go to hospital, even though they could hear him swear from where they were standing as he bent to get into the passenger seat.
“He looked pretty mad,” Connor observed, not especially wanting to get into the car. He really didn’t want to know just how angry Ryan was with him. “He’s going to blame me for this.”
“No, he’s not,” she said, smiling reassuringly. She was the only one of them who knew about Ryan and Connor’s relationship, mainly because she’d started to wonder when Ryan kept coming over to the flat. “Now, go and take care of him. And give me a call later to let me know how he is, okay?” Giving him a push toward the car, she settled her tranquiliser gun more comfortably in her hand and hurried to catch up to Stephen and Cutter.
It was dark by the time Connor pulled the car up the Ryan’s house, parking in the driveway. They’d been sitting around the Accident and Emergency department for hours, with Ryan getting grouchier by the minute and insisting that he was fine. Connor knew that he wasn’t, and the doctor had confirmed that when he’d announced that the ribs that Ryan insisted were just bruised were in fact cracked, and one was broken, and would have to be strapped up. He also had instructions not to do any strenuous exercise and, after the doctor cast an eye over his uniform, ordered to take some time off work.
Connor got out and hurried around to the passenger side to help Ryan out, following him inside.
“Connor, I’m not a bloody invalid! I think I can walk into the house on my own.”
Connor backed away. “Sorry.”
He watched as Ryan moved slowly upstairs and sat down, not really knowing what else to do. He wanted to help- even the doctor had said that Ryan would need help–but it seemed that Ryan didn’t want it. No, he decided, if Ryan didn’t want him here then he might as well leave rather than hanging around and making him angry. Heading upstairs to tell him, Connor stopped when he reached Ryan’s bedroom. The door was wide open and the soldier was just sitting on the bed, his shirt open and a defeated look on his face.
“I can’t get my shirt off,” Ryan said when he saw Connor. “It hurts.”
Connor went inside. “At the risk of being shouted at again, would you like some help?”
Ryan nodded and between them they managed to remove Ryan’s shirt without pulling on his ribs too much and get him into an oversized t-shirt before Connor crouched to unfasten his boots.
“Are you alright with the rest?” he asked, handing Ryan a pair of jogging trousers from a drawer in his dresser, choosing one of the pairs that he slept in so that he wouldn’t have to get changed twice.
“I think so. And Connor? Thanks. I didn’t mean to snap at you before.”
“But it’s my fault you got hurt,” Connor pointed out. “I’m sorry; I know you’re mad at me but I promise I’ll try and stay out of the way in-”
A shrill whistle stopped him mid sentence. “Connor, I’m not angry with you. To be honest, I was scared; when I saw that thing heading straight for you... I thought I was going to have to watch it trample you!”
Ryan rolled his eyes. “Stop apologising.”
“Sor-” It was instinctual, but Connor stopped himself just in time, seeing the amused look on Ryan’s face as he did so.
Ryan stood and pressed a kiss to Connor’s lips before shooing him out of the room.
“Now, how about you go put the kettle on and make us a cup of tea,” Ryan suggested, “and I’ll be down in a minute.”
A couple of hours later, Connor gently shook Ryan’s shoulder to wake him up. He’d stayed awake through a takeaway pizza and most of a DVD but he’d fallen asleep, leaned against Connor’s shoulder, about ten minutes ago.
“Tom? Maybe you should go to bed. You’ll be more comfortable,” he pointed out.
It was a sign of how much Ryan hurt that he agreed without bothering to argue first, accepting Connor’s help to get up the stairs and into bed. He even took the painkillers that Connor brought him. When Connor went to leave, however, Ryan’s hand around his wrist stopped him.
Connor tried to protest he should go and let him rest, but Ryan pouted.
“But I’m hurt,” he said. “You wouldn’t leave me all on my own when I’m injured, would you?”
Connor laughed. This was the same way he’d talked Connor into ordering pizza for tea when he would have preferred Chinese, and how he’d convinced Connor to watch an action film when Connor had voted for sci-fi. He might have tried to convince the others he was fine, but he wasn’t above playing the ‘I’m hurt’ card to get his own way with Connor.
“You’re going to milk that injury for all it’s worth, aren’t you?”
Ryan just smiled, watching as Connor sighed, giving in and stripping down to his boxers.
“Happy now?” Connor asked as he got into bed.
Shifting to find a position he could lay in comfortably without making anything hurt any more than it already did and eventually settling against Connor, Ryan sighed contentedly.
“I’m feeling better already.”