Title: Take a Breath
Author: alyse
Fandom: Primeval
Pairing: Abby/Connor pre-relationship
Rating: PG
Spoilers: No spoilers, but characterisation is vaguely series 1/2
Word Count: ~1,350
Disclaimer: Primeval and its characters belong to Impossible Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended. This is fanfiction, written solely for love of the show.
Author's Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] casy_dee's kissing meme request of 'Connor and Abby in a hospital, one of them is unconscious', for my [livejournal.com profile] kissbingo card square 'body: fingers'. Thanks go to [personal profile] aithine for the beta.

Summary: It became a litany in her head: I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I scared you.


Abby's first thought was that her mouth tasted funny. It was a foggy thought, vague and half-realised; her mouth tasted funny and she felt like she was swallowing cotton wool, all puffy, unpleasant nonsense. She must have fallen asleep without cleaning her teeth again.

Her head hurt, too, and that might explain the mouth thing - it had been a long time since she'd been so drunk that she'd woken up with a hangover this bad. Getting legless didn't get any more fun as she got older, and she no longer had the capacity to drink like a fish that she'd had when she'd been nineteen and stupid, instead of just twenty-something and stupid.

The lights in her room were too bright, and, oh God, she hadn't left the curtains open, had she? She knew her own habit of sleeping in very little and she'd never be able to face any of the neighbours if she'd stripped naked where they could see her.

This was all Connor's fault. She didn't know how - couldn't remember how, but then she never really did when she got that pissed - but it was bound to be his fault anyway. He was a bit of a rubbish flatmate, never doing the washing up when it was his turn unless she nagged and always leaving his dirty boxers on the bathroom floor, but he was good for blaming for stuff.

She tried to roll over, away from the light that was stabbing into her brain, straight through her closed eyelids, but her muscles were heavy and sluggish, aching in her shoulders and down the back of her neck. Her legs felt heavy, too, a lethargic weight that felt distant and not quite real. Drunk and dancing then, boogying away in silly shoes and flinging herself about until her muscles screamed.

She'd bet it was that revolving dance floor at Macy's. It was a bit of a crap club, and the floor was usually sticky with things that didn't bear thinking about, but in spite of the naff music and the even naffer boys trying to pick her up, that revolving dance floor exerted a siren call once she'd had a few. At least then she could claim that the floor moving wasn't down to alcohol.

She tried to roll over again, but her hip protested, with the kind of dull, toothachy pain that said she really had done herself an injury. Maybe she'd fallen off the dance floor. Always thought she'd come a cropper on that thing one of these days. Come to think of it, her head really, really hurt. She was beginning to think that this was more than just a hangover. Also, she really, really needed to clean her teeth.

She tried to put a hand to her head to feel for any bumps or lumps that might explain the drum section currently rehearsing behind her eyelids - a cacophony of crashes and thumps, and bright starry flashes of pain - but her hand wouldn't move either. She could wiggle her fingertips, but the hand itself refused to budge.

She finally managed to blink her eyes open, staring at the unfocused white blur above her that she assumed was her ceiling. There was a beeping sound next to her, low and steady, but that didn't sound like her alarm clock unless Connor had cannibalised it for parts again and reprogrammed it into something annoying.

She finally managed to turn her head, wincing when the drum section ramped up its percussion, and peered blearily down her body towards her hand. There was a dark shape down there, one that gradually, as she blinked, resolved into a mop of black hair.

"Connor?" she said, and stopped there. Her throat hurt, dry and scratchy, and her voice sounded hoarse, used, like she'd spent the night screaming her lungs out at a Take That concert or something. Connor's head jerked up and he stared at her, his eyes wide and red creases down the side of his face where it had been pressed against her covers. His eyes were red, too; he must have a hangover to match hers. "What are you doing in my room?"

Her voice was still hoarse, rough with her hangover, but she didn't think she sounded angry enough for Connor's face to crumple the way it did, folding in on itself into something sparse and ripped bare.

Connor's fingers clenched around hers - and that was why she couldn't move her hand. What the hell had she said or done last night that would make him spend the night sitting by her bedside, holding her hand and crying?

God, she was such a bitch to him sometimes.

"Sorry," she ground out, all broken glass and aching throat. What she wouldn't give for a nice, cool drink of water right about now, or some Strepsils.

Connor's face cleared a little, although his throat wobbled as he nodded. "Just don't do it again, yeah?" he said, scrubbing his sleeve over his face to wipe away the tears that were still streaming down. He swallowed, clearing his throat, and his gaze drifted away from her face to somewhere to the left of her ear.

"Do what?"

That drew his attention back to her, and he stared at her for a long moment. "You don't...? Well, the doctor said you might not remember."

Doctor? Exactly how hard had she fallen off that dance floor? She opened her mouth to ask, but what came out instead was a plaintive little, "My leg hurts."

Connor winced, in sympathy she thought, and his fingers squeezed hers gently. It was nice, almost comforting, when she'd never really thought that Connor would step outside his own head for long enough to realise that someone might need a bit of comfort.

"Yeah, you broke it, I'm afraid." He tried for a smile, but that came out more like a wince as well.

"Falling off the dance floor?"

He stared at her, confused. "What? No. When the entelodonts knocked you into the wall, remember? It was..." His lips trembled again for a moment and his fingers tightened around hers. "It was a bit scary, really. Sort of like a prehistoric stampede, and you were stuck in the middle of it, and I thought -" His voice cracked and he looked away, but not before Abby caught sight of another fat tear rolling down his cheek.

Oh. This time she tightened her fingers around his, squeezing down as hard as she could. She hated it when Connor got upset, and hated it even more when she was the reason for it.

"I'm sorry," she said again, and Connor nodded, lifting her hand up so that he could press her fingers against his mouth.

It wasn't the first time he'd kissed her - he'd given her a peck on the cheek more than once, to fool his friends or when he was overexcited about something - but it might have been the first time that she wished she could kiss him back, if only because she could feel his lips trembling against the back of her fingers, and the wetness on his cheeks.

"You were so still," he said, his mouth moving against her skin, the words muffled more by the tears in his voice than the press of her fingers against his lips. "I thought..."

She twisted her hand over, ignoring the way her neck and shoulder ached from it, so that she could stroke her fingers over his cheek. The angle was awkward, too awkward for her to be entirely successful at wiping the tears away. "I'm sorry," she said, and it became a litany in her head: I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I scared you.

Connor cleared his throat, turning his head to look at her; her palm cupped his cheek, and his skin was warm and flushed under her touch. "Just don't do it again, okay?"

She nodded. She had no intention of doing it again, and not just because she never, ever wanted to be responsible for putting that look on Connor's face.

It was also because her head really, really hurt.

The end

September 2017

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