Pairing - Becker / Connor
Rating - PG-13
Summary - An accident gives Connor superpowers...
They didn’t notice anything wrong at first, none of them. Connor had to congratulate himself; he had been so careful to act normally and apparently it was working. Well, to all except Becker but that was different. He was just so afraid that they’d turn him into some kind of scientific research project if they realised. True, it was his fault; if he weren’t so clumsy, it never would have happened…
(Two days earlier…)
The team had found the lab after taking an exploratory trip through an anomaly that had opened in a park on the outskirts of Manchester. They found themselves outside a huge building complex, no identification of what and where it was just a blank facia. There was a single steel door, once security-locked and now swinging open, and beyond that a maze of corridors and rooms. The laboratory was at the centre of the complex, filled with now-defunct machinery and sophisticated computer equipment that instantly caught Connor’s attention. Leaving Connor to look around with Becker for backup, Danny took Luke to check out the rest of the complex.
Connor set about searching the lab to see if there was anything useable. This place looked as though a hurricane had surged through; whatever had happened here, the place was wrecked. There were smashed bottles and test tubes everywhere, their contents spilled and soaked into the surfaces. Papers were strewn across the floor, desks and equipment broken. From what he could tell, the lab was about a hundred and fifty years into the future, though whose future, he wasn’t sure. Some of the research- what little Connor could make out- made reference to events that had never happened making him certain that this was a parallel world.
All of the machinery was dead- whatever power source had been used previously had been shut down when everyone left and he couldn’t find any way to get it back online. The computers, however far ahead of their time, still looked familiar enough for Connor to decide he could take out the hard-drives to decipher later on, back at the ARC.
He was just clearing a desk to work on when his hand caught one of the metal racks. Connor stared in horror as the one remaining test tube of red liquid in the rack on the desk toppled. He tried to catch it but was a second too late and the tube smashed, the contents spilling over the desk as one of the pieces of glass sliced into his fingertip…
“Connor, are you okay? I heard a crash.”
Connor just knew that he’d be in trouble for breaking something and so he edged in front of the desk and pasted a smile on his face.
“Just moving some stuff,” he replied. “Everything’s fine.”
Becker sighed. “Well, be careful. We don’t know what any of this does- hey, your finger is bleeding.” As Connor looked at it, Becker put his backpack down and dug out a first aid kit.
“Just a paper cut,” Connor said, taking the antiseptic wipe and plaster that Becker held out.
He waited until the soldier had turned his back once more to freak out, remembering the broken test tube and the sharp pieces of glass on the desk. Becker was going to think he was a total idiot. He’d demand that they all go back to the ARC immediately to check Connor out, saying it wasn’t safe, and then it would be him, Connor, who had been responsible for cutting short their trip. No, it was better if Becker didn’t know.
Getting to work dismantling the computer he brought over to the desk, he found himself distracted by his task, thinking no more of it.
The following morning, Connor stumbled out of bed when he smelled coffee and made his way to Lester’s kitchen in the hope that his boss had made him some. When he saw the mug on the table next to where Lester sat, he smiled. The man may protest about Connor being here but his actions didn’t quite match his snarky words.
Lester sat there, quietly filling out the Times crossword whilst eating his toast, as Connor enjoyed his coffee. The companionable silence didn’t last long, however. As soon as Lester finished his breakfast and checked his watch, he turned to Connor.
“Unless you want to walk to work, you had better get a move on,” he grumbled. “I’m leaving in five minutes.”
Connor got up to go to his room. Or at least he thought he did. One minute he was standing in the kitchen, and the next he was in his room with no memory of the journey in between. Or maybe he just wasn’t completely awake yet. He nodded to himself; that sounded more likely.
“You’re losing it,” he muttered to himself. “That’s what working at the ARC does; it’s making you crazy.”
Connor fumbled the last button on his jacket, the plaster around his finger making it awkward to grip things. It didn’t hurt any more and so, as he got into to Lester’s car, he carefully peeled the plaster off to check.
“Is something the matter?”
Connor shook his head, glancing down at his finger again. There wasn’t even a mark marring the skin. He shrugged it off, glad that it hadn’t got infected by anything in the lab, and followed Lester into the ARC.
“Connor, I need your reports from yesterday’s anomaly,” Dianne, Lester’s secretary informed him an hour later. “They were supposed to be in last night.”
With a sigh, Connor opened the programme on his laptop and started typing. He was lost in thought, tapping away at the keys absently, but when he looked he saw it at the bottom of the screen. Page 7. When the hell had he written pages 1 to 6? He could have put this morning’s temporary loss of memory down to lack of sleep but this? He’d been sitting here for two minutes; the clock on his laptop confirmed that.
“Okay, so you did write this,” he reasoned with himself. “Only you did it really fast. Really, really fast.”
Actually, that sounded kind of neat. If he was right, that was. He needed to find out. You’re a scientist, right? What would a scientist do, he thought; he’d have to test it. Connor started typing again, keeping his eyes on the keyboard. Nothing out of the ordinary. So type faster, he told himself. Still nothing.
Connor’s phone rang, startling him out of his thoughts and making him jump, knocking the laptop off balance from his knee and toppling toward the floor. He caught it before it hit. One handed and without any effort at all.
After that, Connor started trying little things, to see if the super-fast reflexes were a fluke. They weren’t, but it took a while for him to learn how to flip that mental switch and go from normal to whatever-it-was. He discovered that he really could type 7 pages in two minutes; it was just a bit scary watching his fingers fly over the keyboard in a blur of speed. He remembered picking up the laptop one handed- it hadn’t even felt remotely heavy. It was as though he were holding a sheet of paper. So, it made sense, he thought, that if he could do that, then he might be able to pick something heavier up.
When he picked up the desk- admittedly with both hands so as to steady it and not spill his cup of tea, which was currently on the desk- it finally hit him that something weird was going on.
Something weird but completely awesome, he thought, grinning like an idiot.
“How the hell are you doing that?”
Connor tried to discreetly set the desk back on the floor before turning, knowing that it was useless as there was no way that Becker hadn’t seen him holding it up. The urge to see how fast he could run with these new reflexes was almost overwhelming, anything to avoid having to talk to Becker. Instead he took a deep breath and met the soldier’s startled gaze.
“I don’t know,” Connor told him. “I have no idea what happened; it just did. Can you shut the door?”
Becker looked wary of him as he closed the office door and came a few steps further into the room. As Connor moved toward him the soldier edged away. It was barely noticeable, but Connor saw it. Becker was scared of him; he wasn’t sure which was worse, thinking he was an idiot or this.
This, his mind chipped in with miserably. At least before, they had the easy interaction with one another.
“Please don’t look at me like that,” he begged quietly. “This is why I didn’t want anyone to know- I didn’t want people to look at me like I’m some kind of freak. Especially not-”
Becker made a visible effort to hide the wariness from his face. “Especially not what?”
Especially not you. Of all people, why him? Becker was his best friend; Connor could settle for friendship when he would have given anything for more, but now they wouldn’t even have that. Suddenly, what had seemed cool ten minutes ago was now about to ruin any chance he may have ever had with Becker. Sometimes he thought that it wasn’t just him, that Becker was interested, but the soldier wasn’t exactly forthcoming with his emotions. Each time, just for a while, Connor let himself hope before dismissing it as his own over-active imagination.
“Nothing. Never mind.”
He sat down in his chair, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and head in his hands. After a moment, he felt a hand on his shoulder and glanced up to see Becker crouching next to him.
“I’m sorry. You surprised me, that’s all,” Becker told him. A smile crept across his lips. “After all, it’s not every day you walk into an office and see a guy a holding a desk up in the air, is it?”
Connor smiled, despite himself. “Good point.”
“How about we get out of this office and then you can start at the beginning?” Becker suggested.
Since it was still the middle of the morning and they couldn’t leave the ARC, Connor and Becker found themselves sitting on the roof. Wedging the fire door open so they could get back inside, they sat down.
“So, what’s going on? I did see you lift that desk before, didn’t I?” When Connor nodded, he continued. “And you didn’t seem at all surprised so I’m assuming that this has been going on for a while.”
“Since I woke up this morning,” Connor confirmed. “I think it had something to do with that lab yesterday. I’ve been working on the hard drives I bought back and I think they were working on some kind of genetic manipulation. I’m not sure what the intended outcome was- I’m still trying to get into most of the files.”
“But how would that affect you and not the rest of us?”
He had to ask, didn’t he? “You remember when I cut my finger? Well I lied to you- I broke a test tube and that’s what cut me. I didn’t want you to make us come back so I didn’t tell you. Whatever was in that test tube caused this, I think.”
For a moment, Becker was silent. When he finally spoke, he didn’t sound angry, just offended. “You should have told me. Did you think I’d be mad at you or something?”
“No,” Connor mumbled. “I thought you’d think I was I an idiot. I can’t help it; my mum used to say I was accident prone.”
Becker laughed softly. “She might have been right, but that doesn’t mean you need to lie to me. How am I meant to look after you if you keep things from me?” he asked. “If I’d known, maybe I could have helped you with all this- okay, maybe not helped, but at least you would have had someone to talk to.”
Connor felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders at the other man’s words. He looked up at Becker and saw that he genuinely meant that; he looked concerned more than anything else. Without thinking, Connor slung an arm around Becker’s shoulders in a half-hug.
The soldier looked embarrassed for a moment as Connor quickly removed his arm.
“So, what else can you do? Apart from lifting desks, I mean.”
This was what Connor’s experiments this morning had been for. So far he’d found that his speed and strength had been increased, though to what extent, he was still testing. And increased healing abilities, he told Becker, remembering the cut on his finger and how it had vanished overnight.
“Maybe it’s like that cheerleader in Heroes and I can just regenerate if I get hurt,” he mused. “I’ve been too afraid to test it in case I don’t heal like I’m expecting. And it might still hurt.”
Becker reached over and gave a hard pinch to Connor’s upper arm, making Connor yelp.
“It still hurts,” he confirmed, mentally adding a cross next to ‘impervious to pain’.
“I wonder if I can fly…”
“Don’t even think about it!” Becker grabbed his arm as though imagining that Connor was about to jump off the roof to test that theory.
Connor saw the worried look in Becker’s eyes and the smart remark on the tip of his tongue died away.
“I’m not going to do anything stupid,” he promised.
Becker nodded in acknowledgement but his hand stayed on Connor’s arm. Connor didn’t object.
“I’ve been researching and I’ve still got loads of things to try- like x-ray vision, shooting heat-rays from my eyes, super-sensitive hearing, mind reading, controlling weather-”
Becker frowned. “Researching?” Connor refused to meet his eyes, making Becker even more curious. “Where exactly have you been researching this?”
“Maybe it wasn’t traditional research, but it’s not like I can check a book out of the library entitled ‘what to do with your new superpowers’, is it?” Becker was still watching him expectantly and he sighed. “Alright; I was reading X-Men comics. But they still had some of the same kinds of abilities as I do!”
He pulled out the list he’d been working on that morning; of all the things he wanted to try out, the ones which would be the coolest powers to have were at the top of the list. Becker either crossed or ticked them as they tested each one. So far, there were more crosses than ticks.
Teleportation and being able to sprout wings and/or claws had been Connor’s top two but both were negative. He did, however, find a couple of useful talents a little further down the list.
Number four had him staring at Becker, eyes wide and cheeks red, until the other man asked him what was wrong.
“Um, you can put a tick next to x-ray vision,” he said, not meeting Becker’s eyes.
“Really? I wouldn’t have thought it was even possible.”
Connor knew he’d have to prove it. “You’re wearing a black g-string-”
Becker’s face turned a deep shade of red. Now that he wasn’t the only one who was embarrassed, it seemed a whole lot funnier to Connor.
“What? I had nothing else to look through up here,” he protested.
If he was being honest, he could probably have found something but he hadn’t looked too hard. And it had been a really nice view…
He was glad when the anomaly detector sounded. Getting to his feet, he dusted off the back of his jeans.
“Where are you going?”
Connor frowned. “Anomaly.” He saw the confusion on Becker’s face. “The alarm just went off- Oh. I guess this means we can tick super-sensitive hearing off the list too. You really don’t hear that?”
By the time they reached the anomaly, just a couple of miles away, it had already closed, leaving no trace of creatures behind. Reluctant to simply go back, Danny argued that since they only had about another half an hour left to work anyway, and they were already out of the ARC, they might as well take their time. Head for the pub, maybe. It was a lovely day, Connor thought, and they had their phones on them in case they were needed. There was no way that Becker would agree, though. Which was why Becker surprised him when he leaned close and said quietly,
“Not a bad idea, but how about we ditch Quinn and the lads first?”
Connor just stared at him. Becker, straight-laced Captain, was actually condoning skiving? And drinking on duty?
“Okay, what have you done with the real Becker?”
The soldier didn’t answer, just ducked into the nearest side street, tugging Connor in as well before Danny or the other soldiers noticed. He was smiling as they made their way back to a pub they had passed a few minutes ago. Once they each had a pint and were seated on a low wall in the beer garden, enjoying the sunshine, Connor called Danny’s mobile to let him know not to wait for them.
“You know, I’ve been thinking,” Connor announced. “I reckon I need a superhero costume.” His eyes lit up. “I could have a cape as well, just like Superman!”
Becker choked on his pint as he laughed. “Superman? Supergeek, maybe,” he teased.
“Hey! Shut up, Action Man,” Connor retorted, though he wasn’t as offended as he made out, knowing that Becker was only joking. “Geeks are cool.”
A few hours later it became clear that whatever ‘improvements’ had happened to Connor, his tolerance for alcohol wasn’t one of them. Two and a half pints and he was beyond tipsy. Luckily, he wasn’t the only one.
“Y’know, you owe me,” Becker mumbled.
Connor blinked at him. “Huh?”
“It’s only fair.”
Becker put his drink down and waved a finger accusingly. “You used your superpowers on me.” A wicked glint appeared in his eye as he added, “C’mon; I showed you mine.”
As Connor worked out what he was talking about, he stared for a long moment, unable to believe what he’d just heard. The nervous laugh escaped him but he reined it back as he saw the offended look on the other man’s face.
“No! Not like that! I just didn’t expect to ever hear you say that,” Connor insisted. “Might’a hoped, maybe…”
Becker frowned. “Why wouldn’t you expect it?”
“Because I never thought- I mean, you’re always flirting with Sarah!”
He laughed. “I think you have that sentence backwards. I can assure you that the flirting is one way.”
Becker rolled his eyes. “Do I really have to spell it out for you?” he complained, though he sounded amused.
“And you’re not going to sober up and realise what you said and get mad at me, are you?” Connor persisted. No matter how long he’d wanted just this- well, this with a little less talking- he couldn’t quite chase the doubts away.
Becker took Connor’s glass off him and set it down before hauling him close enough to kiss him.
“Would I be going too fast if I suggest we move this back to my house?” Becker asked a few moments later, finishing the rest of his beer quickly.
Connor shook his head. “Let’s go.”
The following afternoon, Connor hurried along in pursuit of the dinosaur as it stomped its way through the streets. It shouldered its way past the parked cars, setting off car alarms and knocking over a litter bin. Abby had shot it with a tranquiliser but it had barely slowed down. She was trying to reload the tranq gun as she and the soldiers tried to get out of its way. They scattered as it moved toward them. They circled around to get behind it and out of its path but it noticed and turned on them.
Danny came around the corner then in one of the ARC vehicles. They had been trying to herd it back to the anomaly with the cars but Abby needed to be on foot to get a clear shot. The car just pissed it off though, and it lashed out with its tail as they got closer. It struck the vehicle flipping it onto its roof with the ease of a toy, trapping Becker and Danny inside as it lowered its head to head butt the car. Danny was in the drivers seat and so able to crawl out through the broken window but Becker was still stuck. The creature went in for another assault on the upturned vehicle.
“Abby, get it away from the car!” he called, setting off at a run.
“I don’t know! Think of something.”
Abby eyed the dinosaur, and then the car. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m getting Becker.”
As he ran for the car in a blur of speed that made Abby unsure of what she’d seen, she had no choice but to find some way to get the creature away. Dev had already gone to help Danny get to a safe distance, Mark hanging back to help her. If she had been hoping for him to have a plan, she was disappointed as he watched, ready to follow her lead. No ideas came to mind and so it was back to the time-old method of waving their arms and yelling at it until it chased them.
The car door had been buckled by the creature’s attack, jamming it closed. The roof was now crushed inward, a result of the dinosaur stepping on the underside of car in its effort to destroy it, meaning that there wasn’t much room for movement inside.
“Are you okay?”
Becker nodded as Connor got a firm grip on the door frame and pulled. He came away with the entire door in his hands and he flung it aside carelessly. It flew like a Frisbee, landing on one of the few undamaged cars parked in the street, setting off yet another car alarm. Reaching in, Connor helped him to get out of the wreck, being so extremely careful with hands that had just torn a metal door off.
Once he was on the pavement and Connor was sure he wasn’t hurt, he heaved a sigh of relief.
“You better go help Abby,” Becker told him, as Dev came back to check on him. He could see Danny leaning against the wall a little further down the street, determinedly staying on his feet despite the slightly dazed look in his eyes.
Dev was watching Connor suspiciously, his gaze flicking to the car door now wedged in someone’s windscreen. Connor’s heart sank; he knew it would be like this. Dev watched him now like he some kind of sideshow attraction.
“Conn.” He felt someone touch his arm and looked at Becker. “It’ll be fine; we’ll deal with this. Right now, Abby and Mark could probably use some help.”
Connor nodded decisively as Becker cupped a hand to his cheek and moved him close enough for a brief kiss. He had to smile then at the look on Danny and Dev’s faces. Quite which they were the most shocked about, he wasn’t sure- the fact that he’d just ripped a door off a car or that the Captain had just kissed him in the middle of the street.
Dev and Danny looked even more surprised when Connor shot away in the direction that the dinosaur had been led; one second he was there, the next he was gone.
“How did he do that?”
Becker just smiled. “Accident. It’s turned him into Superman.”
“If I hadn’t just witnessed it…” Danny shook his head in disbelief. Then grinned. “Not the only thing I witnessed,” he continued. “You and Connor, eh?”
“I’m right?” He had been expecting Becker to argue or deny it or something. “That little display before wasn’t just trying to distract us from Connor’s car-wrecking skills?”
Becker shook his head. “No. Is this going to be a problem?”
“Not as long as you’re good to him,” Danny replied. “The kid may be a pain in the arse at times, but I kind of like him.” They set off toward the other car, slowly, Becker looking a little paler than usual after hitting his head on the inside of the car as it rolled. When the soldier stumbled, Danny put an arm around him, under his arms, to support him. “Just so you don’t get the wrong idea,” he teased as they walked, “this doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you too.”
Becker sighed loudly. It could be worse, he thought; Danny could have a major problem with him and Connor. He had a feeling that the teasing would go on for a while, though.
Visual reference- my o/c's