goldarrow: (Stephen-Ryan)
[personal profile] goldarrow
Title: Fragments
Author: goldarrow
Characters/Pairing: Abby Maitland, Connor Temple, Matt Anderson, Rex
Words: 1082
Rating: 12
Disclaimer: Everyone recognisable belongs to Impossible Pictures, not me. I make no profit, and promise to return them, slightly mussed but in superb spirits, once I’m done playing with them.

For the beautiful and almost eerie Primeval Denial Art Prompt 2016 Picture by [ profile] lsellersficHere


Abby stared into the mirror.

Who was this woman looking back at her? Instead of clean, tidy hair, hers was mussed, frizzy, unkempt. There were lines on her forehead and between her eyes, her mouth turned down at the edges. Her leather jacket was scuffed. She looked sad. Defeated. And so very, very tired.

Abby closed her eyes against the sight.

Dizziness overcame her. She gasped, reaching out for something to catch her balance. As her fingers touched the surface of the mirror, everything went first black, then a washed out grey. She looked around, confused. She was in a clearing in the woods, Connor behind her. He called out, called her name, sounding frantic. She turned to see what was happening to him, and stopped with another gasp, her breath stuck in her throat. He was standing in front of a team, looking more fit and athletic than she’d ever seen him, but the thing that surprised her more than anything else was the weapon he was holding. It was sort of a pistol, but it was much bigger, and it looked like something out of a science fiction movie, all odd shapes and lights. And he held it as if he knew exactly what he was doing with it. Connor, who could barely control a gun in a video game, was here, handling a weapon like it was part of him. This couldn’t be real, it just couldn’t.

Abby shook her head, confusion passing dizziness and surprise at the gallop to fill her mind with a fog. She staggered, reaching out for something to catch her balance. As her fingers touched the surface of the mirror, everything went first black then a bright flash made her squeeze her eyes shut.

She opened her eyes, and everything around her was sunny, green, growing. She looked into the mirror. She looked younger and tidier, less tired and healthier, but still sad, still haunted by something. She bit her lip as she tore her eyes from her reflection and glanced quickly around. She was in a clearing in the woods, but this time there was no Connor, no team. Just Matt, standing staring at her with his usual expression of complete emptiness. After all this time, she still couldn’t make any sense of him, any headway in learning who he was or why he was so closed to everyone around him.

He watched her silently, holding the machine in his hand, eyes intent. She watched him in return, for once not trying to analyse, not trying to garner some reaction. So at last, she was able, in her stillness, to see behind the wall he had built. He was as sad as she was. He was as alone as she was, but in his case it was by choice. That revelation, that epiphany, hit her like a wave. He needed space, he needed to be valued but not caged. He was driven, but that drive could either take him to his goal or run over him and leave him broken. She knew, now, how to work with him.

Abby started to smile, then the light fragmented, beams passing around the two of them like rays of the sun. She shut her eyes. This was becoming almost familiar, the dizziness, the disorientation, the almost organic click as reality solidified around her again.

She opened her eyes. She was bright and happy now. Her hair was pulled back tidily, her eyes were clear, her clothing neat and clean. She looked down. Right there, right in front of her, was Rex. The Coelurosauravus was standing with his wings half-unfurled, one forepaw up, his tail curled to the side. She grinned inside. That was his usual “I’m about to create some very serious mischief” position, and it was one that never failed to delight her, even though she knew that it also wasn’t going to fail to exasperate her sooner or later.

The world wobbled.

Abby closed her eyes, then opened them again as the light stabilised. She was in her flat, lying in her bed with her head bent to the side far enough to make her neck ache. Beside her, lying open on her duvet, was a book of American poetry that one of the keepers at the ARC’s menagerie had given her a few days ago.

She blinked a few times to bring the world back into focus, then cracked her neck sharply to relieve the crick that had been holding it rigid. Sitting up, she pulled the book closer and stared down at the words on the page. For some reason, she couldn’t get them out of her mind.

“The fire in leaf and grass / so green it seems / each summer the last summer.
The wind blowing, the leaves / shivering in the sun / each day the last day.
A red salamander / so cold and so / easy to catch, dreamily
Moves his delicate feet / and long tail. I hold / my hand open for him to go.
Each minute the last minute.”

Remembering her dream, she shivered. Each of the scenes had been so close to the lines of the poem. Each moment so harsh and yet so gentle as she dreamed – or, somewhere, actually lived? – it.

Abby shook her head and slid out of bed. Now wasn’t the time to start being maudlin about a few lines in a book. She had a life to live, people to work with, creatures to take care of.

She stopped, half off the mattress. That dream.

Connor – much more competent than anyone gave him credit for.
Matt – driven somehow, but ready to sacrifice himself for the good of them all.
Rex – her friend and the one who always reminded her what both joy and loyalty were made of.

Somehow, she’d been shown something this night. Something that might just make her life, and the lives of those around her, a little smoother. All she had to do was remember it.

Abby picked up the book, closed it gently, and very carefully placed it in the bookshelf above her bed. There just might be some sort of magic in it. And if there was, she was going to make sure she took advantage of it, as often as she could.

She stood, stretched, and headed out to start her day, a lot more centred and a lot more unflinching than she’d been when she’d gone to bed the night before.



Date: 2016-06-06 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great idea for the picture and Abby's changing understanding of her team mates.

Date: 2016-06-06 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was rather a departure for me!

Date: 2016-06-06 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I loved the different settings, introducing Abby to her younger/older selves and how she got to understand her friends a bit better (the way she summarizes it at the end was perfect).

Eerie and beautiful fic. Well done! ^_^

Date: 2016-06-06 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was really nervous about the format.
I'm so glad it worked!

Date: 2016-06-06 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was lovely! It had a nicely unworldly feel to it. I looked the idea of her seeing possible futures and deciding how it would or could shape her future light.

Great story for a really great picture!

Date: 2016-06-06 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was really unsure about the premise, I'm glad it worked.

The picture was super, wasn't it? :D

Date: 2016-06-07 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was very nicely done! Very atmospheric and in keeping with the art.

Date: 2016-06-07 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad you liked it.

Date: 2016-06-07 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lovely story! I adore the atmosphere you've created for each of the different sections.

Date: 2016-06-07 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so glad you like it.
The pic was amazing!

Date: 2016-06-08 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wonderful how you all entwined those elements from the art prompt.

Abby shows a lot of resilience and spunk with being confused and a bit scared towards deciding she was going to take advantage of the things she'd been shown.

Date: 2016-06-16 10:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks. That was what I was hoping to get across in it.

Date: 2016-06-09 08:23 pm (UTC)
fififolle: (Primeval - Abby car Naughty Girl)
From: [personal profile] fififolle
Ooh, very cool. There's definitely some magic in there somewhere! Great companion to the art.

Date: 2016-06-13 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks so much.
It was a fascinating piece.

Date: 2016-06-13 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh, interesting! I love the way the dream echoes and plays into her understanding of her team-mates. (Does Rex count as a team-mate? Yep. Definitely.) I also thought it was very reminiscent of Claudia's confusion before the timeline mess-up at the end of S1, though I hope that's not about to happen to Abby...

Date: 2016-06-13 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks. That's the effect I was going for.

*G* Nope. Not happening!

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