Pairing: Danny/Connor, mentions of Connor/Male OC
Word Count: 4,693
Summary: Danny finds out that Connor’s violent ex is stalking him.
Notes: Set mid series 3. The title comes from Nickelback: Never Again.
Danny smiled as he saw Connor and Sarah talking, Connor’s hands gesturing wildly, the excitement clear on his face even though Sarah wasn’t really paying attention. He’d thought it annoying to begin with, Connor’s constant chatter about anything and everything. Hell, he’d locked Connor up when they’d first met, that day at the old house when he’d still been a copper, and even then Connor hadn’t been able to stop himself babbling.
When it had gone from annoying to cute, he had no idea.
It had become a habit, watching Connor. Oh, he’d tried to ask the younger man out for a drink on a few occasions but each time, Connor had either managed to change the subject before he got the words out, or deliberately misunderstood and it had ended up being the whole team going to the pub instead. For a while he thought that it was because Connor wasn’t interested, or that he just didn’t swing that way. Then, every so often, he would catch Connor looking at him, catch his eye and see that he definitely returned Danny’s interest.
He was just about to go over and join them when the anomaly detector started wailing. Connor hurried over to it, getting a location and shouting to the others. Time to chase dinosaurs, Danny thought.
“Connor, what the hell happened?”
“Look, I’m sorry. I only knocked the locking device; it shouldn’t have been able to re-open the anomaly just from that! I’m running diagnostics on the system-”
“But if you had been paying attention, you wouldn’t have crashed into it in the first place!” Danny pointed out. They had all but packed up, half of the soldiers already returned to the ARC when it had opened again. “We were bloody lucky that nothing else came through. Someone could have been hurt.”
“I said I was sorry!”
Danny saw the look on Connor’s face and sighed. It was like yelling at a puppy; no matter what Connor had done wrong, one look into those big brown eyes and Danny felt bad for getting angry with him. Reaching out, he frowned as Connor visibly flinched.
The moment the words left his lips, Connor looked mortified, mumbling an excuse and fleeing from the room.
Staring after him, Danny’s blood ran cold. He’d seen similar reactions before, and suddenly a few things were starting to make sense. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get near Connor for the rest of the day to talk to him. The other man had locked himself away in his office, not even emerging when Abby tried to bribe him with tea and chocolate biscuits.
Danny waited outside for a while when it was time to leave, but when Connor finally did come out it was with Lester. They both got into Lester’s car before he could say anything, driving away.
The doorbell rang and Danny got up from the sofa, grabbing his wallet from the coffee table. The pizza place had told him it would be half an hour but it looked like they were early. Great; he was starving.
Opening the door, however, he found himself face to face with Connor. The other man looked as though he was about to turn around and make a run for it and so Danny ushered him inside before he could do just that.
“About earlier…” Connor began, looking nervous, when Danny closed the door.
“I never would have hit you, you know,” Danny said, seeing the horrified look on Connor’s face that he had guessed. “Did you really think I was going to?”
Danny showed him through to the living room to sit down. “How did you know where I lived, by the way?”
Connor actually smiled then. “Hacked into the personnel records at the ARC.” The smile faded then. “I feel stupid for reacting like I did earlier, and I think I owe you an explanation.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Yes, I do. You see, I like you, and I know I haven’t exactly made that obvious, but I do, and I think I can talk to you-” He stopped, still fiddling with the cuff of his jacket, and glanced up at Danny.
“Of course you can,” Danny assured him, before asking, “Who was it?”
There was a momentary hesitation. “My ex: Christopher Wilson. He was so lovely when we met- I met him at Uni when we had a class together. He asked me out not long after that and I was flattered. I mean, he was gorgeous and to begin with it was great, but then something changed. He’d tell me where we were going rather than ask me if I even wanted to go out, and he’d tell me what to wear. Then he started to get angry with me for the littlest things.” Connor’s cheeks flushed slightly.
“He hit you?”
Connor nodded. “Sometimes,” he admitted. “One time he went out with his mates on my birthday- he knew day what it was but he still ditched me- and so I went back to my dorm room and refused to let him in when he came stumbling back at four in the morning. He was yelling at me through the door, and everyone was listening… In the end I let him in so people wouldn’t hear it all.”
“And then he took that anger out on you,” Danny finished. “Did you leave him?”
“Yes, but he started saying how sorry he was, how he’d change. I believed him and for a while he did. He went back to being the nice bloke I’d met at the beginning.”
Danny fought the urge to go and find this man and tear his head off, instead trying to stay calm. Seeing him getting angry would probably just make Connor even more nervous.
“So what happened?”
“He got sent down for nearly killing a bloke I was talking to in the pub. Alex was an old mate from school who I hadn’t seen for ages. We were just catching up but Christopher wouldn’t listen. He beat Alex up so badly that he put him in hospital for nearly a week. I had to testify against him, but he still kept writing to me, telling me to go see him, like nothing had changed.” There was a pause. “He was let out two weeks ago.”
Well that explained why Connor had been so jumpy for the past few weeks, Danny thought, frowning. “Is he bothering you?”
“I’ve got a restraining order against him but I keep getting hang-up calls, or that feeling of someone watching me, but I never see anyone. Then this morning, he actually spoke. Told me that he’d see me soon.” Connor looked up at Danny. “I don’t think he knows where I live at the moment, but he’ll find out sooner or later. A piece of paper isn’t going to keep him away from me.”
The desire to hug Connor finally snapped in Danny and he did just that, backing off when Connor froze in his arms.
“I’ve still got some friends in the force. Let me see what I can do, okay?” he asked.
Connor smiled, looking relieved. “Thanks. I bet you think I’m stupid, don’t you, for not sticking up for myself or getting out earlier?”
“No. I heard a lot of people with stories similar to yours when I was a copper. I know it’s not as easy as just being able to walk away.”
“Danny, what I said about liking you,” Connor told him, “I meant it. Each time you tried to ask me out, I wanted to say yes.”
“It’s okay. I can understand that you don’t want to get involved with anyone-”
“It’s not that,” Connor interrupted. “If he is watching me, and he saw me with you, he might hurt you too. I didn’t want to risk that happening. I probably shouldn’t have come here tonight but I really wanted to talk to you and I couldn’t really do that at the ARC.”
“He won’t hurt me, or you ever again. Believe me, I’ve taken down enough scumbags to be able to look after myself.” The doorbell rang and he stood up. “That’ll be my pizza. Are you hungry? If you like, we can share. It’s pepperoni.”
Connor nodded, smiling. “I’d like that.”
A few hours later, the credits rolled on Bad Boys. The pizza was gone and so were a couple of beers that Danny found in the fridge. As Danny cleared the pizza box and empty bottles away, Connor followed him. Once it had got dark and the curtains in Danny’s house were closed to outside eyes, Connor had relaxed. Now he cornered Danny in the kitchen.
“I enjoyed tonight, just being here with you,” he said.
Danny nodded. “So did I.”
Connor sighed, frowning. “Danny?” When the other man turned around, he found himself inches from Connor, close enough for Connor to lean in and press a kiss to his lips.
Surprised, Danny pushed him back, holding him at arms length. He had spent all night avoiding doing anything to push Connor. Although the younger man had said he was interested, after the story he’d told, Danny had expected him to want to take it slowly.
“Please. Unless you don’t want me any more.” As Danny opened his mouth to speak, Connor stopped him. “Don’t ask me if I’m sure, because I am.”
Looking into those puppy-dog eyes, Danny couldn’t think of a single reason why not to do this. Sliding a hand onto the young man’s waist he moved him closer again and kissed him.
A few days later, just as he was about to leave, Connor was called to the security office. With Lester following, he went in, not sure what he was going to be in trouble for and not really wanting to find out. Danny looked up as he entered, smiling grimly and making Connor even more nervous.
Becker had the CCTV monitor paused on a shot of the car park and he stepped back.
“Is that him?” Danny asked Connor.
Connor looked at the screen and nodded. “When was this?”
“About half an hour ago,” Danny told him, nodding to Becker to let the footage run.
As Connor watched, Christopher glanced around to make sure no one was watching him before taking something out of his jacket. It was a knife, and a bloody big one at that, Connor thought as he watched the man on screen duck down and slash the tyres of the car next to him. Danny’s car.
“I am so sorry, Danny. I should never have got you involved. He must have seen us somewhere-”
Danny reached out, laying a hand on his arm. “It’s not your fault that the arsehole followed you. Us. It does, however, mean that we’ve got him on tape doing something that the police can act on.”
Connor didn’t look particularly convinced but he nodded anyway.
“I don’t suppose that either of you are going to tell me what the hell’s going on,” Becker asked. “Who is that?”
Connor sighed. “My ex. He’s been watching me, calling me; he must have seen me with Danny and then followed us here.”
“How long has this been going on for?” Becker wanted to know. “And why didn’t you say something? Maybe we could have helped.”
From the small amount of interaction he’d had with the Captain since he arrived, Connor was surprised by the offer. Becker always made him feel like a complete nuisance; he honestly thought that the man didn’t like him. To hear the anger in his voice as he spoke, anger on Connor’s behalf, was nice.
“Thanks, but I don’t really know what you could have done. I’ve got a restraining order already but it looks as though he’s just ignoring it.”
“He’s right, Connor,” Lester added. “You should have told us. We look out for our own around here.” He glanced at the CCTV monitor again. “I suppose you want a lift home now, Quinn? I’ll wait until you call a mechanic and get your car picked up.”
Becker looked puzzled as to why on earth Lester would be offering, but then it was none of his business. He tapped a few keys and extracted a disc a few moments later.
“Thought you might need a copy,” he said, handing the disc to Danny.
Danny’s tyres were just the start. There was a brick through Danny’s living room window, and then they started seeing Christopher hanging around near the ARC. He always vanished just before Becker and Danny stormed out, ready to do some damage to him, but they had him on CCTV each time.
Unfortunately, Danny knew that the petty vandalism charges wouldn’t even slow him down. He’d get a light sentence, or maybe community service, and come back even more pissed off.
Connor was still getting calls, too, only now Christopher spoke to him, accusing him of ignoring him, or ‘slutting around’ behind his back. Danny watched as the younger man became more and more on edge, the happy Connor fading a little more with each new incident.
“We’ve got to do something about that pillock,” he said to Becker one day. “Can’t we just let him in and toss his arse into one of the animal pens? I’m sure we could make it look like an accident.”
Becker smiled. “As tempting as that is, I don’t think that Lester would appreciate the extra paperwork.”
“Not if there’s nothing left; some of those creatures can eat a lot.” Danny sighed. “Okay, maybe not. I just hate seeing Connor like this, scared of his own shadow.”
Becker suddenly sat up and looked at the monitors that showed the car park. “Oh good, he’s back.”
“What do you mean, ‘good’?” Danny asked.
Picking up a walkie-talkie on the desk next to him, Becker spoke briefly, telling Danny to watch.
The door a few feet away from Christopher burst open and five soldiers in black combat gear and balaclavas stormed out, assault rifles in their hands, yelling at him. Christopher panicked, looking around frantically. His eyes were wide like a frightened rabbit as, quicker than either of them expected, he turned and bolted. One of the soldiers fired a couple of shots into the ground by his heels as he ran before Becker radioed to tell them to come back inside.
“Well, that should keep him away from the ARC for a while,” Becker said, laughing. “I think he actually pissed himself when Mark shot at him.”
Danny fought to stop his own laughter. “Let me call Connor; he’ll want to see that.”
As Danny called Connor to come to the security office, Becker found the start of the footage again. Connor arrived a couple of minutes later, looking worried.
“What’s going on?” Connor asked. “Has something else happened?”
Danny shook his head. “Nothing bad. Have a seat; you’re going to like this.”
By the time they’d run the CCTV footage twice more, Connor looked a lot happier.
Becker shook his head. “Don’t mention it; that was fun. Besides, the lads wanted to help.”
“What did you tell them?”
“I just said that they guy had been hassling you,” Becker told him. “It’s not my place to tell anyone any more than that.”
Danny glanced across at the relief on Connor’s face. He was still embarrassed about the whole thing, about tolerating his ex for so long, but he had no need to be. Neither he nor Becker saw it as a sign of weakness. Becker was angry with Christopher, while he was actually more proud of Connor for what he’d done, for standing up in court and helping to put the man behind bars, and then for telling him, Becker and Lester about the whole messy situation. That had taken guts to do.
“I really appreciate that, Becker.”
The soldier nodded. “As I said, we’ll help if we can. Maybe after this, you’ll get a break from him hanging around here. At the very least you got to laugh at him wetting himself in terror.”
Becker was correct; in the past week, Christopher hadn’t shown his face near the ARC, and there had been no more slashed tyres or broken windows.
“Maybe he’s given up?” Connor said hopefully, though Danny could see from the look on his face that he didn’t really believe that. “Or maybe he’s just biding his time.”
Danny sat down on the sofa next to Connor. “I told you I wouldn’t let him hurt you again, and I meant it. If he comes within reach of you, I’ll wring his neck.”
Connor leaned his head against Danny’s shoulder as the film started. Danny had let Connor choose and was quietly surprised when Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade started. He’d been expecting Star Wars.
Unfortunately, ten minutes from the end, Danny’s phone started ringing, closely followed by Connor’s. The conversation was brief; an anomaly had opened on school playing fields just a few miles from them. Danny stopped the film and set the popcorn bowl on the table as they both grabbed their coats and headed for Danny’s car.
“Well, where is it?” Connor asked, peering out of the window, looking for the anomaly or any sign of a creature incursion. There was nothing.
Becker flagged them down as they drove across the playground, stopping at the edge of the field.
“We haven’t found anything yet,” he told them. “The detector said it was here but by the time we arrived it had vanished again-” His radio crackled and he answered it, one of his men informing him that there were no signs of creatures, or of the anomaly reappearing. He turned back to Danny. “I’ll call in and tell them we’ve done a sweep; you might as well go back home.”
Not wanting to waste his evening sitting around waiting for an anomaly to reappear, Danny nodded, quickly turning the car around and driving back home. He was half way across the playground when the shimmering light appeared almost in front of the car. Danny yanked the wheel to the left, swerving the car away from the anomaly.
He could see Becker in the mirror, racing across the playground with some of his men.
“So it’s gone, has it?” Danny asked.
Connor sighed. “Guess that means we’re not going home again any time soon.”
Another car pulled up beside them and Abby climbed out. “So what have we got? Creatures?” she asked as she got her things from the back seat.
Becker shook his head. “We’ve got an anomaly that just appeared right in front of Quinn’s car, and no sign of life as yet. Connor, can you get this thing locked down before anything does come through?”
Connor went off to get the equipment Becker’s team had brought from the ARC, Danny and Becker staying near the anomaly in case anything appeared while he was getting set up. He got the locking device set up, closing the anomaly into a tight ball of light in the air. Not that there was any point, as it didn’t look as though anything had come through the first time, and there were no telltale creature sounds from the anomaly.
“This one looks like its staying open for a while,” Connor told them, checking the hand held device he took from his pocket. “The readings are getting stronger if anything.”
Danny glanced at Becker. “Maybe we should check it out, just to be thorough.”
“No. Lester didn’t authorise a trip through it.”
“But the last thing you told Lester, it had closed,” Danny argued. “If he doesn’t know it reopened yet, he can’t have refused to let us explore, can he?”
Becker frowned. “I suppose not.”
“Good, so it’s agreed. We’ll get kitted out and-”
“I didn’t agree!”
Danny smiled amiably and clapped Becker on the shoulder. “Sure you did. Look, we haven’t seen anything dangerous yet, and Connor can keep an eye on it so if it starts weakening, we’ll be out of there before it closes.”
As Becker turned to go back to his vehicle and collect more weapons, he stopped, looking at something at the far side of the field.
“Quinn?” Danny walked over to him, groaning when Becker indicated to the problem. “I think maybe you should take Connor back to the ARC.”
Both men turned to see Connor right behind them, listening.
“Far side of the field, just over the wall,” Danny told him. “Don’t let on that you’ve seen him.”
Sure enough, Christopher was standing on the pavement at the other side of the boundary wall.
Connor sighed. “I can’t live like this, Danny. I spend every minute looking over my shoulder, wondering when he’s going to turn up next and what he’s going to do.”
Becker pressed the transmit button on his radio. “Dev? Are you still checking the grounds on the west side? I need you to head out of the lower gates and around toward the road. He’s back.”
Connor resisted the urge to turn and see if he could see Christopher being caught by the lads but he didn’t want to give away the fact that they were onto him. Instead, he kept talking to Danny and Becker, looking as though they were still collecting gear to go through the anomaly.
Two minutes later, Becker frowned, listening to his radio. Looking up, he sighed. “Incoming.”
They all looked across to where Christopher had hurdled the wall and was running away from the two soldiers who had tried to grab him. What he hadn’t realised was that the only exit from the playing field would take him straight past Becker and the others. Becker moved to head him off, Abby going along too, as Danny stayed behind with Connor.
“Does this remind you of those old Benny Hill sketches, where he was chasing the women in the skimpy outfits around?” Danny asked, watching the soldiers chasing Christopher.
Connor laughed. “Actually, it does.” The pursuit got closer and Connor was sorely tempted to unlock the anomaly and hope that Christopher would run through it. Let him wander around, not knowing where he was, scared, for a while. He couldn’t do it though. There was something he could do, though.
Going to Abby’s car he opened the boot and pulled out the case she kept in there.
“Connor, what are you doing?”
He smiled, loading the gun with a green-tipped dart. “Don’t worry, it’s the lowest dosage she carries,” Connor told him.
The look on Christopher’s face when he saw the gun in Connor’s hands was priceless, as was the one when he realised what Connor had just shot him with. He zigzagged for a moment, almost as though he was drunk, before he stopped moving and sagged to the ground in a heap.
“Feel better now?” Danny asked, going to check the man’s pulse, making sure he was just unconscious.
Connor walked over and pulled the dart out of Christopher’s thigh, accidentally treading on the man’s fingers at the same time.
Becker and his team came strolling over, stepping around Christopher, ignoring him.
“So what are you going to do with him?” Danny asked. “When he comes around he’s going to be mad. I’d rather not have him anywhere near Connor when that happens.”
Becker nodded. “I called Lester and he said to take him back to the ARC. He said he’s going to deal with this once and for all.”
Though shoving Christopher through the next anomaly would have been more fun, it was satisfying to watch Lester scaring the crap out of the man, Connor thought as he watched through the one way glass of the interview room.
Lester was good at this, prowling around the room, talking softly to Christopher as he calmly explained just how many years he could ensure that the man would vanish for. He was putting a classified government project at risk with his actions- he was now also bound by the official secrets act not to discuss what he’d seen- and his targeting of one of the researchers on that project could, technically, be construed as an attack. By the time Lester had finished explaining how the situation could be viewed, if explained by the right person, Christopher was frantically apologising and promising that he’d never set foot within a county of the ARC in fear that he was about to be charged with terrorism.
And since Lester had never actually said what the ARC was for, it was left up to Christopher to guess. Connor could see him casting nervous glances at the three armed soldiers standing at strategic points around the room, trying to piece it together.
“He probably thinks we work for MI5 or something,” Danny said, enjoying the show almost as much as Connor. He was almost sure that Lester was bluffing, that he couldn’t really have Christopher locked up on charges of treason and whatever else he’d threatened. Almost. He suspected that Lester had connections that, while not able to bring charges of treason, could have Christopher lost in the system for a few years at least.
Inside the room, Lester chose that moment to remind Christopher of his previous conviction and the restraining order that forbade him from coming within five hundred feet of Connor.
“When we finish this little chat, I will hand you over to the metropolitan police,” Lester told him. “As your release was conditional on the terms of your bail, I think we both know that you will be returning to jail. How long you remain there depends on you. Now I can allow you to complete your sentence, after which we will never see or hear from you again, or I can make a call and have you locked away for the rest of your life. Make your choice, Mr Wilson.”
Christopher didn’t hesitate. “I swear you’ll never see me again! Please.”
Lester glanced up at the one way mirror where he knew that Connor was watching and smiled briefly, before schooling his face back to the blank mask.
“Make sure that you remember that, Mr Wilson,” he said. “If I hear even a rumour that you have spoken of this place, or if you come near Mr Temple again, even if you mention his name, I’ll make that call. Do you understand me?”
Behind the glass, Connor heaved a sigh of relief as he watched Becker and two of his men escort Christopher away, into the hands of the police officers waiting upstairs. The man was silent now, eyes downcast; he’d even stopped apologising, just doing as he was told and going quietly. Connor waited until they were gone, so that he wouldn’t have to speak to Christopher, before going into the interview room with Danny at his heels.
“Well, he’s gone,” Lester said. “And I think this time he should be out of your life for good.”
Connor nodded, smiling. “Thank you.”
“You know, that was pretty impressive,” Danny added. “You would have made a good copper.”
Lester smiled. “I rather enjoyed it, making the little weasel grovel.”
It was nearly two am when they got back to Danny’s flat, going straight up to bed. It had been a long day over all, what with their usual early start and then being called back out this evening. Dumping his clothes on the floor next to Danny’s, Connor crawled under the covers, cuddling up to Danny and making himself comfortable.
Danny frowned, turning his head on the pillow to look at Connor. “What for?”
“Still wanting me around after all the shit you’ve had to put up with recently. I wouldn’t have blamed you for just walking away.”
Pulling Connor into his arms, he pressed a kiss to the younger man’s lips. “Nah, you’re stuck with me now.”
“Might as well get comfy then,” Connor murmured as he settled in, closing his eyes. “Because I plan on keeping you around.”