goldarrow: (Stephen-Ryan)
[personal profile] goldarrow
Title: Cursing the Darkness
Author: goldarrow
Word Count Total: 1452
Characters/Pairing: Stephen/Ryan, Helen, SF Team
Rating: 15
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: Primeval belongs to Impossible Pictures, not me. I will return them when I’m done, slightly mussed but in superb spirits.

For the July 2016 Monthly Challenge:
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness."
Terry Pratchett - Men at Arms


Cursing the Darkness

"Helen, we can't keep going on like this." Stephen stopped dead in the middle of the trail, feeling as if he was a child about to throw a wobbly in the middle of a shop. "We need to rest, regroup and work out where we're going."

Helen stepped forward a few more paces until she was standing at the edge of the cliff. Her hair, starting to get a little longer again, was whipping in the wind, her shirt and trousers pressed against her body as she raised her head to face the setting sun.

"I know where we're going, Stephen. You need to trust me."

Unable to hold back a snort, Stephen sat on a convenient rock to catch his breath. "I don't think I'll ever trust you again."

When she turned to face him with her patented "I'm sure you have a good reason for saying something so stupid" expression on her face, he snorted once more.

"Don't bother, Helen, honestly." He stretched his arms over his head to relieve the crick in his lower back. "Showing up, knocking me out and kidnapping me doesn't really give me a reason to want to join up with you."

Helen shrugged. "I did what I had to do. You have something I need."

"What?" Stephen had by this time passed frustrated at the trot and was bearing down rapidly on completely exasperated. He'd woken up in this place with Helen standing over him, a rucksack on her back and another in her hand. With nothing more than a crisp "Follow me", she'd dropped one of the rucksacks in front of him and started walking. He didn't have any choice at that time other than to follow her, since he hadn't the foggiest idea where (or even when) he was. As they'd continued moving through the countryside, the sounds he'd heard, and the types of flora and fauna he could see was putting them at somewhere around the Pleistocene. Whatever Helen was up to, it wasn't too far away – in evolutionary terms – from their own time. Which worried him more than perhaps it ought. Helen, say in the Triassic, might make some slight difference. Helen, in the Pleistocene, might cause havoc. It was too close to modern times, too easy to make a change that evolution wouldn't have time to adjust for.

"You'll see." After a slightly salacious glance at the ribbon of skin he'd bared when his shirt pulled up as he stretched, she turned her back on him and started walking, her hips swaying just slightly more than they had been up to now.

Dropping his hands to his sides with a frustrated huff, Stephen rolled his eyes as he picked up his pack and followed her.

"When will I see?" he asked as he caught up.

She glanced at him flirtatiously, but when he responded only with a raised eyebrow, she pouted.

"Helen, unless your IQ has dropped about 50 points, you're intelligent enough to realise when your current course of action isn't working. Give up. Stop playing games."

Her pout instantly transforming into the kind of smile that had Stephen wondering exactly what sort of trap he'd just walked straight into, Helen stopped again.

"I never play games, Stephen. People just think I do. They never believe that I have the world's best interests in mind."

"That's because you don't."

Delighted that he'd managed to change her expression from smug to one of complete and utter shock, he laughed.

"Helen, your only interests are yourself, and the power you can wield over others." When she simply stared at him, mouth slightly ajar, he nodded at the sun. "It's getting dark. We need shelter. This might be the Pleistocene, but it's still dangerous."

She stood for another few seconds, examining him like a slide under a microscope – a slide, moreover, that contained a rather obnoxious virus – then she shook her head sorrowfully and headed for the line of trees on their right. "We'll be fine in a tree over here. There's nothing around this area that's big enough to be a problem."

Still wondering why she'd taken him, and how often she'd been here in order to learn that detail, Stephen followed, continually watching their back trail so he could retrace his route if necessary. That was the only reason he caught a glimpse of movement behind them before it dropped into the thigh-high grass. A glimpse that looked a lot like a man in a Special Forces combat uniform. Smiling to himself, Stephen turned back to follow Helen. He wasn't alone.

"Help me up." Helen was standing under one of the larger trees when Stephen came up to her.

A quick thought about where he'd seen the soldier gave him an idea. He needed to have her pointed away from the direction his rescuer would be coming from, so he rounded the tree, trying to look as if he was checking for a good place to climb. He stopped at the angle that would put Helen's side to their back trail.

"Are you coming?" he asked. See how she liked someone being cryptic with her.

Helen sighed before moving up beside him. "What's so much better about this side?"

Stephen ignored her words. "Foot up. I'll give you a boost."

"This branch is higher than the one in the front. Why don't you boost me up there?"

"Because I don't have anyone to boost me, I can't reach the higher branches, and I'm not going to sit on the fucking ground. Now get over here and let me help you up, or you can be the one staying down here."

Eyebrows flying, Helen let him help her up into the higher branch. Stephen wasted no time in making his own way up into the tree, glad to see that Helen's position put a very large branch between her and their back trail. A quick glance over his shoulder showed him that there were more than just one soldier – it looked like an entire squad was coming. Stifling his grin, he leaned back against the bole of the tree and put his mind to keeping Helen occupied.

"So, are you going to tell me why you need me?"

She shrugged. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. I'm going to have to show you in the morning."

"Great. Never mind, then." Stephen closed his eyes, pretending to go to sleep.

Helen rustled around for a moment, then her voice came through what was now a very dark night. "I'm cold, Stephen. Come up here and keep me warm."

He chuckled. "Not a chance in hell, Helen. I wouldn’t trust you not to need my liver – without the rest of me still attached."

The laugh she returned was slightly forced. "You really don’t trust me, do you?"

"Not a bit," he replied cheerfully, speaking a bit louder to cover any noise the soldiers might be making as they closed in. "Not one tiny little bit."

Her reply was drowned out by Captain Ryan's barked command of "Don’t move, Helen. Don’t even try it."

She gasped and slithered down from the tree in an attempt to disappear into the darkness, but three military torches focussed on her, putting her into a pool of light that she couldn't escape.

"You alright, Stephen?"

"I'm fine, Captain, thanks." Stephen scrambled down from the branch he'd been perched on and walked over to the Special Forces team. "Glad to see you all."

Ryan nodded, using the action to both acknowledge Stephen's comment and to order Finn to take Helen into custody. The sharpshooter wrapped her wrists in two cable ties, telling Ryan he wasn’t going to take any chances with 'this one'. Helen snarled at him as her wrists were captured.

Looking around at the Special Forces men surrounding them, Stephen whistled under his breath. "Isn't this a slight case of overkill?"

Ryan looked at him in query.

"An entire squad just to rescue me?" At Ryan's raised eyebrow, he added with a grin, "And to take Helen into custody?"

Ryan grinned before pulling Stephen in for a kiss. "You know that old saying about lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness?"

Stephen nodded, his senses swimming a bit from the kiss.

"Well, I'd rather use a flamethrower. It's a fuck load more effective."

Laughing, Stephen followed him back to where he trusted they would find the anomaly to take them home, revelling in the memory of Helen's expression as Ryan had kissed him.

That was the real difference between Helen and his friends. Helen, he couldn’t trust as far as he could throw her, his team, he could trust even 200,000 years away.

 End


 

Date: 2016-07-28 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knitekat.livejournal.com
This is lovely. Helen's not so in control, certainly not now. *purrs*

Date: 2016-07-28 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldarrow.livejournal.com
Thanks.
*G* She certainly has an overinflated opinion of herself.

Date: 2016-07-28 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lukadreaming.livejournal.com
Hah! HELEN! gets her come-uppence. Splendid ending with her eyes on stalks at the kiss!

Date: 2016-07-28 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldarrow.livejournal.com
*G* That was a last-minute addition - glad it worked!

I love giving Helen her comeuppence!

Date: 2016-07-28 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tli.livejournal.com
Oh, nice!

Date: 2016-07-28 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldarrow.livejournal.com
*G* Thanks!

Date: 2016-07-28 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
"What?" Stephen had by this time passed frustrated at the trot and was bearing down rapidly on completely exasperated.

*howls* Brilliant line!

He chuckled. "Not a chance in hell, Helen. I wouldn’t trust you not to need my liver – without the rest of me still attached."

Great dialogue and I loved the reunion with Ryan.
Edited Date: 2016-07-28 10:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-07-28 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldarrow.livejournal.com
Hee! You picked out my two favourite lines!

Thanks, glad you liked it!

Date: 2016-07-29 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ebonyfeather.livejournal.com
Lovely! Stephen can always trust the lads to rescue him.

Date: 2016-07-29 06:24 pm (UTC)
fififolle: (Primeval - Helen)
From: [personal profile] fififolle
Hehehe! They got the better of her, better to take no chances with HELEN :D

Date: 2016-07-31 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nietie.livejournal.com
Yay at Stephen finally standing up to Helen.
And yay at Ryan and the SF team.

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