Pairing - Connor / Spike / Lester
Rating - R-15
Summary - The secret's out, thanks to Helen Cutter.
Series - # 5 in the Connor / Spike / Lester series- full list here.
The call-out proved to be a waste of time. They had gone to investigate when a member of the public called the police, reporting a ‘weird shiny thingy in the air’. Kind of like a mirror that’s shattered and is just hanging there, the caller said. This had been closely followed by another phone call reporting a big animal on the loose in a nearby housing estate. They had left Connor racking his brains to figure out why the anomaly detector hadn’t sounded, while Lester was fretting about what to do about the media attention this would gather.
They need not have worried. There were no signs of creatures or dinosaurs, no trace of the anomaly or of a disruption of any kind. It had to be a prank call but what bothered Becker was how the caller knew to describe an anomaly.
“I don’t like this,” he said as they got back into the cars. “Danny, call Lester, would you?”
Becker pulled the car out of the street and set off back to the ARC. “Something feels wrong.”
Danny took out his phone and called in but when he spoke to Lester, everything seemed fine. At Becker’s insistence, Lester agreed to have someone check the security system for any signs of disruption.
Connor turned and kicked the leg of the anomaly detector desk angrily, finding nothing at all wrong with it. A low chuckle sounded from the chair nearby and he turned to see Spike watching him, looking amused.
“Now what did that ever do to you?”
Connor scowled at the detector. “Bloody thing is working fine.” At Spike’s raised eyebrow, he clarified, “If it really was working fine then it should have known that there was an anomaly half an hour ago.”
“Actually, there isn’t anything wrong with it,” a third voice chipped in. They both glanced up as Lester approached. “Quinn called; it appears that the anomaly was a hoax.”
Connor didn’t look any happier. “So you mean I just spent the last half hour running diagnostics for no reason?” He sighed. “Great. I need a cup of tea; anyone else?”
They both shook their heads and he stalked off in the direction of the staff room. Spike and Lester watched him go.
“He’ll calm down soon,” Spike said. “I’ll go check on him in a minute.”
“I wish that I could but…”
Spike smiled. “I know you do but we’ve got to keep up appearances, right?” He leaned a bit closer after making sure that no one was nearby and whispered, “You can cheer him up when we get home. How about that?”
Lester looked as though he wanted to tell Spike off for saying that here, in the ARC, but he didn’t. Spike’s grin widened.
“Maybe we could cheer him up together, put him in the middle…” Spike licked his lips suggestively, brushing his hand discreetly over Lester’s hip. He turned and sauntered off in pursuit of Connor, leaving Lester silently cursing the damn vampire for getting him all hot and bothered and then just walking away.
Lester shook his head, forcing his eyes up from watching Spike’s arse as he walked out of the room; it was so much simpler when he was just the boss, no ties to any of them. Then Spike and Connor wormed their way into his affections… He smiled, thinking. Had anyone told him before that night that he would now be sharing his life, and bed, with a vampire and a geeky scientist he would have laughed but he wouldn’t change the past few months for anything.
With a sigh, Lester followed after Spike.
Spike reached the staff room and poked his head around the door, frowning when he found it empty. Connor’s mug was still on the counter, a black one with a red Jurassic Park logo on the side, the milk out beside it and the kettle still steaming.
It wasn’t unlike Connor to get sidetracked whilst he was in the middle of something else, but he usually went back to his office to work on it. This time he hadn’t as Spike had walked down that way and hadn’t passed him.
Hearing a sound further along the corridor he turned and headed that way, wondering what on earth Conn had found that could be more interesting than a cup of tea.
“What the hell?”
At the end of the corridor, near to the door to one of the labs, a strange woman in a khaki shirt was crouched over Connor, who was lying on the floor. At first he thought she was checking to see if he was okay but when he got closer he saw her pick something up and put it into her pocket.
The brown haired woman stood, turning on him. Connor was still sprawled on the floor but Spike couldn’t get to him to make sure he was alright as the woman placed herself in front of him. Leaning to the side she pulled a knife out of her boot and took a fighting stance.
“Connor, you okay?” Spike called out, not daring to take his eyes off the woman.
To his relief, Connor had already dragged himself to his feet, leaning against the wall. He looked furious and a bruise was starting to form around his right cheekbone.
“I found her sneaking about but when I tried to stop her she attacked me. I hit my head on the wall.”
Connor looked just the slightest bit embarrassed at admitting that he’d been decked by a woman but Spike could tease him later. Right now, he was just glad that Connor was alright.
“Get out of the way, blondie,” she said. “This is none of your concern.”
She made a move to get by him, lashing out with the knife when he got in her way, but Spike was faster. Feeling his face change, his fangs lengthen, he snarled and grabbed her. Pinning her against the front of him, one arm around her neck and the other taking hold of the hand still gripping the knife, he squeezed. He was pretty sure that he’d broken at least one bone in her hand by the time she finally relinquished the knife but she didn’t let out so much as a whimper. Out of his eye corner he saw Connor heading for the door at the end of the corridor. He looked a bit shaky but he did manage to stumble to the door at the end. It took a couple of swipes of his security pass but he managed to get it open and leave.
“So, Lester’s got himself a new guard dog, has he?” Helen asked, her voice rough as his arm clamped around her neck just a little bit tighter. “Doing a piss-poor job of it so far; I just walked straight in.”
“I’m not anybody’s guard dog, bitch,” he retorted, keeping her attention on him so that she wouldn’t see that Connor had gone. Hopefully to get someone with a big gun and no qualms about shooting women.
“Who the bloody hell are you, anyway?”
She huffed a little at that, as though offended that he didn’t recognise her, and Spike smiled. He knew who she was from the descriptions. How could he miss the infamous Helen Cutter? Connor’s description had been spot on- brown hair, brown eyes, slightly psychotic and with a penchant for clothing a size too small for her.
“So, you called in the fake anomaly?” He didn’t really need to wait for a reply; the look on her face answered it for him. “Why? What were you after in the ARC?”
Ignoring him, she tried to twist around and elbow him in order to escape. She stopped when she felt the points of his fangs pressing into the skin of her throat.
Just then, Lester appeared with Connor at his side and a small army behind him.
“Put her down, Spike.”
Spike released her, his fangs retracting as his face returned to normal, and she cast him a satisfied smirk. “Woof, woof.”
The smirk became a scowl as she heard Lester add,
“You don’t know where she’s been; you might catch something.”
Spike sniggered as he handed her over to the waiting soldiers. He could feel her glare on him as he walked away, moving to stand beside Lester. When he looked back, however, there was something else in her eyes. She was watching him curiously, then her gaze flicked over Lester and Connor and then back to Lester.
“No, not just a guard dog,” she mused. She smiled again, any trace of anger or concern at being caught wiped away as she focussed on Lester. “Have you been a naughty boy, James?”
When he didn’t answer, she continued. “So which one are you fucking- the geek? Not the vampire, surely. Oh, you are!” She laughed as Lester struggled to contain his anger and embarrassment, and Connor’s cheeks flushed. Beside them, Spike glared menacingly. “Well, well, how the righteous have fallen; fine upstanding Sir James is fucking a vampire and one of his underlings.”
Spike could feel Lester shaking with pent up anger beside him, see the humiliation on his face as everyone else around them stared.
Helen, ever the opportunist, took advantage of her guards’ lapse in concentration and shook them off, making a dash for the fire exit. The door banged back against the outside wall as the door alarms began wailing. The two guards shot out after her, followed by a couple more of the soldiers.
“Someone shut off that damned racket!” Lester snapped.
Reaching out to Lester, Spike found his hand shook off Lester’s arm as the man turned on his heel and stormed away toward his office, refusing to meet anyone’s eye along the way.
Connor edged closer to Spike as the people in the corridor all turned to them for explanations. He could see Danny and Sarah at the back of the crowd, obviously arriving just in time to hear Helen’s revelation. Becker and his team were there too, as were about half of the lab techs, all of whom had emerged when they heard the commotion, coming to see what was happening.
“Oh my God!”
“You two, and Lester?”
“Can’t believe it-”
In the end, it was Abby who shut them up. She elbowed her way through the crowd and glared at them all, hands on her hips.
“Don’t you people have anything better to do than gossip?” she demanded. “Instead of poking your noses where they aren’t welcome, why don’t you bugger off and try and work out how Helen managed to get past all of you. Leave Connor and Spike alone.”
Everyone, even the soldiers began to edge away, looking concerned. They knew that Abby protected Connor like a mother bear would a cub and while she might not be able to kick their arses completely, she’d give it a damn good and painful try. By the time the techs and soldiers had gone, likely to chat and speculate amongst themselves- at least they weren’t harassing Connor and Spike any more- only six people remained in the corridor. Abby ushered them all into the staff room where Becker put the kettle on and got some mugs out.
“What happened?” Abby asked, sitting down in front of Connor and gingerly reaching out to touch his injured cheek.
He looked embarrassed. “I came to get a cup of tea and I heard someone in the lab at the end of the corridor. I knew that no one was working in there so I had a look and I saw Helen leaving. I tried to stop her. Stupid, really.”
“She hit you?”
Connor nodded. “She backhanded me and I tripped and hit my head.”
“Any idea what she was looking for?”
Spike smiled and reached into his coat. “This,” he said, tossing a small black metal device about the size of a mobile phone to Abby. They had found it at an anomaly site a few days earlier but so far, despite Connor’s best efforts, they hadn’t been able to get it to work to find out what it did. “I saw her stick it in her pocket out in the corridor before I grabbed her.”
“So you picked her pocket?”
He nodded. “I bet she didn’t even feel me take it; she was too busy wondering if I was gonna bite her.” He looked around at the sceptical faces and scrunched up his nose in disgust.
“You really thought I’d bite her? Ughh, please,” he said with a shudder.
“Well you do have to drink blood. I thought maybe you might have had a little snack…”
“I have better taste than that,” Spike informed Sarah, sounding offended. “I’m very particular about what goes in my mouth, I’ll have you know!”
Danny and Abby managed about two seconds before they started to snigger. Spike sighed when he realised what he’d said.
“That’s not what I meant. You lot have bloody filthy minds, you know that?”
Danny, still grinning, got up and closed the staff room door.
“Right, jokes and gossip aside, I want to know if Helen’s little rant had any truth to it,” he said. “I’m not asking so that I can go off and tell everyone else, but I think we need to know if there’s anything that might possibly disrupt this team.”
Connor knew they were right, and he saw that everyone else agreed as well. Even Abby nodded. He sighed.
“Just give us a minute, okay?” he asked, grabbing Spike’s coat sleeve and leading him out of the room. This wasn’t something they could decide on their own; no way were they saying anything without talking to Lester first.
Ten minutes later, the team all sat in Lester’s office while the man himself fidgeted in a very un-Lester-like way.
“Do you want me to tell them?” Spike asked softly from his seat beside Lester’s desk.
Lester shook his head and offered the vampire a faint smile. He turned to the team, all waiting patiently, expectant expressions on their faces.
“What Helen so delicately announced in the corridor,” he said, still not looking at them, “was correct. Connor, Spike and I have been engaged in a relationship for some time now. I do, of course, understand that you will feel uncomfortable with this and I shall see to it that someone else takes over supervision of your team as soon as possible.”
“What? No!” Lester frowned and Sarah continued. “We don’t want someone else!”
“But it would be inappropriate for me to continue considering my involvement with two of my team members,” he pointed out.
“Oh, bollocks to all that nonsense,” Danny interjected. “Are we shocked? Hell, yeah. Are we pissed that you didn’t tell us? Certainly,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we want you to quit.”
“Quinn’s right,” Becker said. “Provided this will not interfere with the running of this team, I see no problem.”
“And it’s not like they get any favouritism,” Sarah added. “If anything, Connor seems to get into trouble more often lately.”
“You know I’m fine with it,” Abby added quietly, causing Danny to frown at her.
“You already knew?” he asked accusingly.
Connor immediately jumped to her defence. “Don’t be mad at Abby; we made her promise not to say anything. And it’s not like we intended to tell her, but she kind of, well, she found out on her own.” Seeing Danny’s still confused expression, he sighed. “She walked in on us when Spike and Lester were in bed at the hotel, you know, that one near the Forth Bridge a few weeks ago.”
Now they all turned to stare at Abby as Spike rolled his eyes at Connor. “Nice going, genius. You couldn’t have just said that she knew and leave it at that?”
“Sorry,” Connor mumbled. “You know I talk too much when I get nervous.”
Lester decided that the best thing would be for all of them to think on it that night and then, tomorrow morning, he would speak to them. He would be willing to transfer command of the team to someone else should any of them decide it would be best, or allow any of them a transfer if they wanted. The team, however, were having none of it.
“We don’t need to think about it,” Danny said, looking around at the others. “Show of hands: anyone have a problem with any of this?”
Not one hand was raised.
“It may not be as simple as that,” Lester told them. “The funding committee and my superiors, should they find out about this, would have me moved before I could even offer my defence.”
“Well they’ll have to go through us first,” Sarah informed him.
Lester smiled, genuinely touched by their support. He had expected looks of disappointment and horror, being reminded that he was breaking the rules, but no one made any comments like that. Sure he’d still have to deal with the general staff but his primary team were fine.
“Thank you, all of you. I appreciate it.”
Danny smiled. “We know.”
So, that evening, back in the safety of Lester’s flat, Spike curled up against Lester’s body in bed, Connor’s arms wrapped around Lester’s waist as he pressed up against the other man’s back.
“It’ll be okay,” Spike said. “They’re good people and they like you, despite what you sometimes think. They said it themselves that they have no problem with any of this.”
“I don’t wish to talk about this any longer,” Lester informed them dismissively.
Connor raised his head and glanced over at Spike, the pair sharing a concerned look. He could feel Lester trying to distance himself from them, his usual ease around them slowly vanishing, and he knew that Spike felt it too.
“James, please don’t do this,” he said.
“Don’t reject us just because you’re worried about what everyone else will think,” Spike answered. “If you want out of this relationship then say so, but make sure it’s for the right reasons. Don’t push us away because of what happened today.”
“You don’t really want to leave us, do you?” Connor asked quietly.
Lester sighed and turned enough to give the younger man a hug. “No, Connor, I don’t. I just don’t like having my personal affairs gossiped about, having them all looking at me, wondering and speculating.”
“So you still want us?” Spike asked, looking for confirmation.
“Of course I do. How could I not want the two of you?”
Connor heaved a relieved breath. “Good,” he joked. “Because we wouldn’t have just given up. Vampires and computer nerds? We make excellent stalkers.”