Pairing - Connor / Danny
Rating - PG-13
Summary - After an incident through an anomaly, Connor returns feeling like whole new person.
Man, I feel like a woman
When the anomaly shimmered back into existence, Abby and Sarah heaved a sigh of relief. They had been waiting for two days, fielding increasingly-annoying calls from Lester as he called for updates every hour since the anomaly had vanished with the team trapped on the other side.
Moments after it opened, Abby saw the first of their missing team begin to come through.
“Danny? Is everyone OK?”
Danny, followed by Dev and Neil, stepped out of the glittering anomaly and into the grubby car park. Abby looked around him to the soldiers before turning her worried gaze back to Danny. There was no sign of her best friend.
“Where’s Connor? Has something happened to him?”
The soldiers shared an uneasy glance.
“There’s a bit of a problem,” Danny said. “Promise that you won’t laugh- he’s not taking it too well.”
Sarah pinched him on the arm, making him swear loudly. “For goodness’ sake, just tell us!”
Danny glared, rubbing his arm, and walked back to the anomaly, going back through. He returned a moment later, someone following him.
“What the hell? Who’s that?”
The dark haired woman, currently hiding behind Danny, waved self-consciously.
Abby saw her own shock reflected in Sarah’s expression, her colleague staring at the woman, open mouthed. It was definitely Connor, she could see now; his eyes were still the same. The rest, however, couldn’t be further from the man who had left two days ago.
He, no she, Abby mentally corrected herself, still stood at Connor’s height, with his short dark hair and pale skin, but his face was, well, pretty. With a bit of make-up he could be a model on the front of any magazine. He was still wearing the same clothing he left in, only now it hung wrong on his frame, baggy in all the wrong places and just a little too tight across his chest.
“Abbs?” Connor said in low voice, watching her nervously.
But she wasn’t sure what to say. The look on his face, however, made her feel bad for staring. It might be odd for her to see, but it must be awful for him.
“Connor, I’m sorry.” She went to give him a hug.
The trip back to the ARC was quiet, Connor still sitting huddled up to Danny, not meeting anyone’s gaze. Abby was dying to ask all kinds of questions but she could see that he wasn’t ready for that. She would get her chance when they got back to the ARC and had to explain this to Lester.
Lester sat behind his desk, leaned back in his chair, his fingers laced across his stomach. Danny had told them what had happened, or at least what little they knew. They had gone through the anomaly as planned, going to explore the area whilst cataloguing the plant-life. There appeared to be no large animals there at all; their initial checks had revealed no predators.
As the anomaly had closed abruptly and unexpectedly, and so they had decided to take the time to explore the area, leaving a Neil and Connor waiting by the anomaly site to alert them when it reopened. Connor had wandered off on his own to examine some caves they had noticed, after Danny and Dev had gone to check the woodlands up at the top of the cliffs that the caves were in.
“When we got back to the rendezvous point, he hadn’t returned,” Danny told Lester. “We went into the caves to search; it should have been perfectly safe. There was nothing there that could have presented a threat. Connor was unconscious but we managed to wake him and he seemed fine.”
Lester raised a brow. “Fine?” he asked in disbelief.
“Well, he was,” he said. “The next morning, however…” He indicated to Connor. Waking up to a woman curled up next to him was weird, shocking, completely confusing; he didn’t mention that to Lester though.
Lester shifted his gaze from Connor, leaning against the wall next to Danny.
“What light can you shed on this?” he asked. “What happened?”
Connor shrugged his shoulders. “I can’t remember. I was looking around and then… Then the next thing I remember, I’m out of the caves and we’re at the camp. My head hurt and I was really tired.”
“So you went back to sleep and…”
“The next morning, he was like this,” Danny finished. He turned to Connor. “Look, we’ll go back; we can find out how this happened and fix it, OK?”
Lester shook his head. “No, you won’t. I cannot allow anyone else go back there until we know what we’re dealing with.”
Fending off Danny’s arguments, he dismissed them all, sending Connor to the infirmary so that tests could be run on him before he went home.
Three hours later, Connor got into Danny’s car, glad to finally be getting away from the stares and whispers at the ARC.
“How long am I going to be stuck like this?”
Danny pulled into the driveway to his house and stopped the car, urging Connor inside. “I don’t know. It’s not that bad. It could have been worse; at least you weren’t hurt or anything.”
Connor just stared at him in disbelief. “Danny, I’m a bloody woman! I mean, what the hell am I meant to do? I can’t let anyone who knows me see me like this- Oh God! What about my mum and dad; what am I meant to tell them? Sorry mum, but you know how you always wanted a girl as well? Now you’ve got one! Yeah, that’ll work,” he said sarcastically. “My driving license, my passport, everything says that I’m me, a bloke. I suppose I could tell them that I had a sex-change but I don’t want to, damn it. I want to be me again.”
He fidgeted with his clothes as he ranted before stopping, looking down. He sighed miserably. “None of my clothes fit.”
“We can get you different clothes,” Danny assured him. “You’re not on your own, Connor; we can deal with this together.”
“Danny, I hate to break this to you, but you’re gay. I’m not a man any more; how long will it be before you find someone else?” Connor allowed Danny to pull him into his arms this time. “Can you honestly say that you still want me like this?”
Danny took Connor’s shoulders and held him at arms length so that he could look into the deep brown eyes.
“You’re still the same person I fell in love with, even if the packaging is a little different. We can still be together; hey, straight people manage it all the time,” he said, earning a laugh from Connor.
“Besides, it’s only temporary. We’re going to get you changed back.”
Later that afternoon, Sarah took him shopping. She seemed to be enjoying herself, Connor thought, following behind with Danny as she pulled items from racks for him to try on. Occasionally, she paused to hold something up against him before scurrying off again.
“Danny, you’ll have to wait out here,” she said, taking Connor by the arm and dragging him into a changing room.
“You’re having fun with this,” Connor said accusingly. Still, it was better than shopping with Abby. He knew first hand what a nightmare she was with this kind of thing from his one and only foray into the clothes stores with her and so he figured that Sarah was a safer bet.
Sarah just grinned at him. “Maybe a bit. I never had a sister to do all this kind of stuff with, but that’s kind of how I think of you. Well, like a brother before this- Oh, you know what I mean. Right, try these first,” she told him, passing him a pile of lingerie. He took it from her hands and stared at it. Sarah sighed. “For goodness’ sake, get undressed and I’ll come in and help you.”
Connor smiled self consciously. “I can’t help it; I’ve never had to put womens clothing on before. Some of this,” he held up one of the hangars, “looks kind of complicated.”
There was a laugh, quickly smothered as Sarah turned it into a cough. “It’s a bra, Connor. Surely you’ve at least had to remove one before? It’s just the opposite.”
Connor’s cheeks turned redder still. “It’s not exactly Danny’s style,” he muttered.
“I should hope not!” Sarah chuckled. “What I meant was, you must have had girlfriends…”
“By the time I got to, you know, underwear, I’d figured out that it wasn’t girls I was interested in.”
Outside, Danny sat slouched in a chair, waiting for them along with any number of other men waiting for wives and girlfriends. He could think of a million things he’d rather be doing right now- fighting carnivorous dinosaurs unarmed and single handed, sitting through one of Lester’s health and safety lectures- but Connor had looked at him so pleadingly, he’d agreed to come along. The kid was freaked out enough at this point and so, if it made him feel better having Danny to hold his hand, then so be it. No, her hand. He sighed. This was going to take some getting used to. He looked up as Connor and Sarah emerged about a half hour later with an armful of garments.
“Right, next we need shoes.”
Connor sighed. “Why? I’ve got shoes. I like my shoes and they still fit. I don’t need different ones, just like I don’t need all this stuff.”
“Connor, we’re using the company credit card so we might as well get everything,” Sarah pointed out, grinning. “Besides, you’re going to get changed back, and those Calvin Klein jeans are just my size!”
Danny was just filling three plates with spaghetti Bolognese and setting them on his kitchen table when he heard footsteps approaching. He had offered to make dinner for Sarah in thanks for helping with Connor this afternoon.
“May I present, the new Connor Temple!”
Danny smiled as his lover entered the room. He still looked a little uneasy, but a hell of a lot calmer than he had been earlier. Sarah had kept Connor in his comfort zone, only now the dark blue jeans actually fit his female shape, the t-shirt tight fitting and v-necked and showing a little of his newly-gained cleavage, and Danny could see that she’d even managed to get him into the underwear they’d been arguing about in the car on the way home. Connor had referred to it as medieval torture devices, prettied up with lace.
“Danny? Say something, please.”
Danny strode across the kitchen and gathered Connor into his arms, trying to ignore the fact that this didn’t feel like Connor.
“Damn.” He pulled back just far enough to meet Connor’s eyes. “You look great.”
“See, I told you,” Sarah said before turning to Danny. “He doesn’t believe me when I tell him that he’s pretty.”
Despite everything, Danny could see that Connor was secretly pleased with the compliment.
“I am so proud of the way you’re handling this,” he told Connor, hooking his index finger under Connor’s chin and angling his face up for a kiss.
OK, he thought; this was odd. It wasn’t as though he’d never kissed women before- he had- he just preferred men. He knew that it was still Connor but it felt different, softer and more, well, feminine. What made it odd was that it didn’t put him off. He had expected it to be awkward but kissing woman-Connor felt just as natural as kissing male-Connor.
He was just thinking about that when Sarah voiced a thought.
“What are we meant to call you?” she asked as she sat down at the table. “I mean, it’s going to look a bit odd if anyone hears us calling you Connor, isn’t it?”
Connor’s eyes widened in alarm and he looked to Danny. “I don’t want to have to change my name.”
“How about we just call you Connie?” Sarah asked. “It’s not too far from Connor and it will save a lot of annoying questions.”
That night as he- she- climbed into bed, Connor thought about what Sarah had said.
“She doesn’t think I’m going to get changed back, does she?”
Danny knew he could lie at this point, could make Connor feel better, but it wouldn’t be right.
“We don’t know,” he admitted. “Lester called earlier. They finished running the blood samples they took from you back at the ARC, as well as running every test they could think of and they found nothing. No viruses, no diseases, no abnormalities in the samples- nothing. At this point, they can’t figure out why your genes mutated and so they can’t find a way to fix it.” He pulled Connor closer, against his chest, and pressed a kiss to the side of his neck. “I’m sorry, love. They’ll keep trying, but it’s not looking too good.”
There was a long silence and then, “I kind of like Connie. I guess, if I have to, I can live with that.”
A/N: For the record, the title belongs to Shania Twain.