Pairing - Danny / Connor
Rating - R-15 (though for threat and not for slash content, for a change!)
Summary - Connor does something stupid and finds himself alone and injured in the future.
Connor pressed himself deeper into the narrow space in the rocks as a huge, clawed foot reached inside. The talons raked the earth just inches from his foot, leaving deep grooves, and he pulled his leg up further. As he bent his knee, a burning pain shot through him and heard himself whimper. It wasn’t as though he had to keep quiet; the creature already knew where he was.
He knew it had been a stupid thing to do, even for him, but there was no point hanging onto regrets. All he could do was hope that the others got to him before the creature did. He knew he couldn’t stay here for much longer; eventually, the damn thing was going to figure out a way to get to him. Besides, he needed to be able to move in order to take a look at how much damage it had done after attacking him outside.
OK, Connor, he told himself, dragging himself to his feet. Get up. There was just enough room for him to stand, the top of the space so narrow that he had to turn sideways, but he was sure that he could feel airflow from behind him. That meant that there had to be something at the end of this passage, right?
Danny looked around the empty warehouse, taking in Connor’s laptop set up on a packing crate, linked up to the anomaly sealers, his backpack dumped next to it, yet no Connor.
“Where is he?” Becker asked, doing his own quick scan of the area. “He was supposed to be closing that damn thing,” he said, glaring at the anomaly, still glittering and shimmering in the air.
Danny barely glanced up as the other soldiers came into the warehouse, heading for an object he’d spotted near the anomaly.
“Becker!” Danny picked up Connor’s pen. He knew it was Connor from the little Darth Vader eraser stuck on the top. “I think he went through.”
“Why the hell would he do something so stupid?”
“Sir?” Becker turned at his lieutenant’s call. “I think something else came through,” Mark told him. “There are tracks over here. Just a couple of footprints after the creature stepped in that patch of grease on the floor.”
Becker and Danny both went to look. They looked were definitely animal, not dinosaur, Danny thought. Besides, they knew that the anomaly led to the future, as opposed to the past, which meant no dinosaurs. And since no future predators had come through yet, he could assume that they were looking at a time that was new to them.
Connor slumped to the ground as he finally reached the space at the end of the passage. He wasn’t sure what he had expected, but it hadn’t been this. He had come to the bottom of some rough steps, cut into the rock itself, that had in turn led him into the ruins of an old building.
He seriously hoped that the thing couldn’t climb, as there was no roof, but at least he had somewhere to rest for a while.
Well, can’t put it off forever, he thought, beginning to unfasten his jacket and shirt to check the still-bleeding claw-marks across his ribs. His shirt was stuck to him and he peeled it away, hardly daring to look.
“Oh God.” Connor forced himself to keep checking, dressing the wounds with strips torn off his shirt before moving onto his leg. The damn thing had managed to get two good swipes at him before he got away, unfortunately, in the opposite direction to the anomaly.
It was the last time he’d ever look at a puppy in the same way again, that was for sure.
He’d been just about ready to close the anomaly when he’d noticed something come stumbling through the anomaly. When he’d looked closer, he saw what appeared to be a wolf-cub. Only this particular one was about the size of an Alsatian dog, with bigger claws than he was happy seeing on anything. It was definitely a youngster, he knew; it had the appearance of a puppy that had yet to grow into its paws. It padded softly around the area for a few moments before noticing Connor.
The moment it saw him, its ears flattened to its skull and it fled, looking for somewhere to hide.
Should never have helped the sodding thing, Connor thought miserably. He’d chased the thing for about five minutes before accidentally discovering that it could be bribed with jelly babies. Actually, once it realised that he wasn’t going to hurt it, and that he was going to feed it, the cub was friendly. It was one of the reasons he decided to help it; the poor little thing would be trapped here if the anomaly closed before the others got back. He thought about calling them but decided against it. No, he could handle taking one baby wolf home and then be back to close the anomaly before the others even finished their sweep of the outside area. Picking up the cub- it was scared of the anomaly- he made the short trip to take it home.
Only he hadn’t accounted for the critter’s mother waiting for it when he stepped through the anomaly. The moment he put the cub down, he heard a deep growl from his left and then something blindsided him. He felt knives rip into his ribs and was thrown to the ground, looking up to see a huge version of the cute little cub. With bigger teeth, a pissed off expression and claws like kitchen knives.
It was only on instinct that he rolled to the side when the creature took another swipe at him, but he was still too slow. The claws embedded themselves in his right thigh, just above his knee, and he couldn’t hold back the cry of pain. The creature moved for another attack and Connor pushed himself to his hands and knees. Ignoring the fact that his right leg was dragging and that his side hurt like hell, he scrambled away. Not paying attention, he hit the edge of a low banking and found himself rolling, landing at the bottom in a heap. Luckily, the creature didn’t follow immediately, its footing not too good on the loose rocks. It gave Connor valuable minutes to get into the nook he’d noticed in front of him, wedging himself in the gap in the rock face he had landed at the bottom of.
Now, sitting in the ruins, wounds patched up as best he could, he felt like just curling up in the corner and crying.
I’m sorry, Danny. I’ll never do anything stupid again, just please, just come and get me.
Danny grabbed his kit and made for the anomaly, stopping abruptly at Becker’s grip on his arm.
“Quinn, let my guys handle this,” he said. “I know how you feel about him, but this is why we’re here.”
Danny shook his head. “I’m going with you whether you like it or not. He’s my- he’s mine, Becker, and I’m not leaving him.”
“Neither am I,” Becker assured him. “But I’m not going to race in half-cocked either.”
He turned back to his soldiers, telling them to get kitted out for a trip through the anomaly, handing out orders as Danny grew more and more impatient. How much longer were they going to waste?
Becker turned just in time to see Danny run through the anomaly.
“Dammit, Quinn! What the fuck did I just say?”
Connor heard a noise behind him and turned sharply, cursing as a shooting pain caused his eyes to water. It was coming from the narrow passage. Surely that thing couldn’t have found a way through? It was too big.
A moment later, after a brief scuffling, a furry grey head appeared.
“Go away!” Connor told the cub. It was the same one he had brought back here, the one that had got him into this mess in the first place. “You’re going to lead them to me!”
The cub just sauntered over to him and sat down, leaning it’s head on his uninjured leg and looking up at him with wide black eyes.
“Fine. You can stay,” he told it. Not as though he could do much to get rid of it when he could barely stand up. After a while, he dug into his pocket and took the bag of sweets from his pocket. The cub’s ears perked up and it sat up, waiting.
“Here. There’s only two left,” Connor said. “That’s one for you and one for me, right?”
The cub chewed on its jelly baby and settled down next to him again.
“You know, if you’re going to stay, I should have something to call you,” Connor mused. “How about Barney?”
As the cub didn’t object, Connor ran a hand through the thick pelt at its neck. “Barney it is, then.”
Danny stepped through the anomaly to find… nothing. No creatures, no Connor, just nothing.
“Quinn, if you pull another stunt like that I will kick your arse from here to next week!” Becker told him as the soldiers emerged from the anomaly moments behind him. The others fanned out around them, checking the area, rifles at the ready.
Danny ignored him. “He’s not here but it looks like something happened.”
Becker had to agree. The ground had been scuffed, footprints followed by what looked like drag-marks leading to the edge of a low embankment.
“There’s blood here,” Mark told them, crouching to examine a dark spot in the dirt. “And here. The trail reaches the edge of this rise and stops. It looks as though it goes over-”
Becker made a grab for Danny as he made for the edge, but he evaded the soldier and began sliding his way down the slope. Halfway down, he heard a low snarling sound, but he couldn’t stop. The rocks under his feet continued to roll, and so Danny kept moving, arms flailing in order to remain on his feet. He was vaguely aware of the soldiers making their way down to him via an easier track but his focus was on the huge wolf-like creature currently bounding toward him.
“Danny! Move out of the bloody way!” Becker yelled at him.
Danny saw them all raising their rifles and darted to the side, out of firing range. Only then did he see the three smaller creatures following it. If the creature was shot, the young wouldn’t survive on their own.
“Don’t kill it,” he called to Becker, indicating to the cubs. “It’s just protecting them.”
At Becker’s order, the soldiers reluctantly switched to dart guns and Danny saw the pink-tipped darts sticking out of the creature’s hide. It dropped a few feet from him and he heaved a sigh of relief.
“Cut that a bit close, didn’t you?” he grumbled.
Becker glared. “Wouldn’t have needed to if you’d stayed where I told you to,” he snapped, heading over to where Mark had picked up the trail again.
“I think he went in here,” the soldier said, indicating to a narrow gap in the rocks. “Looks like the wolf was trying to get to him, too- it’s been digging at the ground here, see?”
They all looked at the gap. There was no way that any of them were going to fit in there, Danny thought, wondering how exactly Connor had managed it. He looked in where Becker shone the flashlight.
“It goes quite a way back,” he observed. “There must be another way in.”
The soldiers split up, searching.
Connor found the cub’s presence something of a comfort after a while. He knew that he couldn’t stay here much longer but he just didn’t have the energy to get up. Whenever he moved, the world swam; he felt like he’d downed six pints, only he hadn’t. His wounds were still bleeding and he couldn’t stop them. All he really wanted to do was to go to sleep, just rest for a while.
Suddenly, the little cub sat bolt upright and growled. It moved in front of him and stood, glaring out at something that Connor couldn’t see.
“What is it, Barney?” he asked, hearing his words slur slightly. What if the mother had found her way in here? he thought, panicking. He couldn’t defend himself like this; hell, he couldn’t even get to his feet.
The cub let out another growl.
“Connor? Oh hell; what have you done to yourself?”
That sounded like Danny, he thought vaguely. He forced his eyes open and smiled.
“’S OK. Friends.” He held out a hand and the cub came back to him, sitting down whilst still watching the newcomers warily, letting them know that it was ready to pounce if they did anything to Connor.
“Connor? We’re going to get you fixed up,” Neil said, hurrying over to him, keeping to the opposite side of his patient to the wolf-cub. Checking him over quickly, he pulled the med-kit from his backpack to find something to clean and dress the wounds better. He gave Connor a shot of painkiller too; it was only temporary but it would at least take the edge off for him. He glanced back at the others. “He’s losing blood; we need to get him back now.”
Danny edged around the cub to pick Connor up, but a growl stopped him.
“It’s guarding him.” He touched Connor’s cheek, trying to wake him again. “Connor, the wolf won’t let us help you. How do we get it out of the way?”
Connor murmured so low that Danny had to lean down to hear him.
“Well?” Mark asked.
Danny smiled. “Has anyone got any sweets on them? Apparently it prefers jelly babies.”
Mark handed over a bag of jellybeans. “These do?”
Apparently, they would. Becker bribed the cub away with sweets whilst Danny picked Connor up. Becker took the cub back to its mother, still unconscious where they had left it, the other three cubs still nearby.
Connor whimpered as he was jolted in Danny’s arms.
“I’m sorry but we’re nearly home, Conn,” he said. He looked back to make sure that Becker was with them as they approached the anomaly.
Connor looked over Danny’s shoulder and saw the cub watching them. When it noticed him, it began to follow them. Becker tossed another jellybean to it. The cub paused to eat it, giving them enough time to get through the anomaly, where Dev closed it behind them.
“Bye, Barney,” he said softly.
As they got into the car, to take him to the hospital, he looked up into Danny’s worried face. He hadn’t let Connor go since they’d found him.
“Danny? Can we get a puppy?”
Danny smiled. “Maybe. We can talk about that when you’re better, OK?”
Six weeks later, Sid and Nancy were introduced to their new housemate, a black and white cocker spaniel puppy.
Title from a line in Evanescence ‘Tourniquet’-
"I lay dying, and I'm pouring crimson regret and betrayal
I'm dying, praying, bleeding and screaming.
Am I too lost, to be saved? Am I too lost?"