Title: Remember A Day
Author: Evenstar Estel
Prompt: A anomaly opens up into one of the characters past, and they are
presented with the opportunity to change something painful that happened to
Summary: An anomaly opens with Brighton, 1995 on the other side and
for one team member it's a reminder of a living nightmare
Spoiler: Series 2, AU
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Romance.
Disclaimer: Own nothin', just playin'.
Author's Note: This is the first of four chapters. I shall post one every
Special thanks to casy_dee
for the beta!
Remember A Day
Connor sighed and looked up at the ceiling of his bedroom. Why did anomalies
always seem to open just when he was going to bed?
"Hurry up!" shouted Abby from down below. Connor groaned and sat
up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He swung his legs around and caught the
leg of his discarded jeans with his toes, dragging them close enough that he
could grasp them with his hand. He pulled them on and zipped them up before
standing the reaching blindly into the pile of laundry on the floor for something
resembling a shirt or a hoody. He was pleased when he found both, still fitted
together from when he last pulled them off his body. He found his black fedora
and set it atop his head, grabbed a pair of socks and lastly, slipped on the
matching fingerless gloves he had diligently left next to his laptop to be easily
found again. His black leather combat boots were downstairs and Abby stood impatiently
by the front door with her hands on those delicious round hips of hers. Every
single time she did that he imagined having his hands on them, pulling her back
towards his... "Connor, snap out of it! Get your kit on! I'll be in the
car. You've got one minute or I'm leaving you behind!" Connor watched as
she turned and stomped out of the flat. Mostly however, he watched her lovely
pert bottom in her snug jeans. After she exited the door he pulled on his boots
and rushed after her, closing and locking the door behind them.
He dove into the passenger seat of the mini just as she was about to pull away
from the curb. "What's the hurry?" Connor asked, strapping himself
in as she pressed on the accelerator.
"Cutter said there was a herd of Beckam Spiny something or others near
"I don't know, Becks and spines with axes...."
"Yes! That was it. Wow, you're good." The colour drained from Connor's
"Oh my god! Oh shit! Abby, the Becklespinax was one of the most dangerous
predators of the early Cretaceous! They're almost the size of lorries and they're
vicious! If there's a whole herd of them there's no way we can possibly do anything
to stop them... oh god... oh god!" Abby couldn't keep a straight face any
longer and promptly burst out laughing. Connor did a double take and stared
at her like she'd lost her mind. She saw his confused, horrified expression
and another fit of laughter rolled through her. Eventually it sunk into Connor's
thick skull, she was playing a trick on him.
"Ha. Ha. Very funny."
Abby smiled at him, her beautiful sky blue eyes twinkling. "I thought
"How long did you spend scouring through dinosaur species before you settled
"About twenty minutes. You should've seen the look on your face!"
Connor crossed his arms over his chest and scowled. "Oh come on, it was
"We'll see who's laughing next time when the joke's on her," grumbled
Connor. Abby smiled wickedly.
"You'll never get me Connor. Never." She childishly stuck
her tongue out at him and for that he did crack a smile. "There really
is an anomaly though. Nothing major so far as they can tell. Cutter thought
you might like to go along to explore it, that's why he called."
"Dunno, he didn't say."
Connor stifled a yawn. "Is it at Earls Court?"
Abby shook her head. "Nah, it's in Highgate Cemetery."
"Really? Neat! An anomaly's probably the least spooky thing about the
place. At least we can keep people out. Any creature sightings?"
"Not that he mentioned." Abby wove through the streets of London.
There were still cars on the road, but it was somewhat scarce at 1am in the
morning on a Friday. Highgate Cemetery was in the Greater London borough of
Highgate and boasted woods and greenery in harmony with the city. The cemetery
spent most of its days as a tourist attraction due to its unusual gravestones,
mausoleums and tombs. Connor had visited the cemetery on a class trip when he'd
been fifteen and images of the place still stuck in his mind. It would've been
a perfect setting for a horror film. Abby pulled the car in amongst the collection
of ARC vehicles already parked at the front gate. Stephen was waiting for them
and he had a silly grin on his face.
"Took you two long enough," said Stephen, but his tone was one of
"Had to rouse sleeping beauty here," giggled Abby. Connor wrinkled
his nose at her.
"What's up with this one?" asked Connor.
"Right, the anomaly. You can come see for yourself. Cutter and I have
already been through. He's with Jenny right now discussing what should be done
about it," explained Stephen. "Come on then, it's this way."
Stephen led them by torch light through the gates of Highgate, down through
the entrance columns and towards the creepy corridor of tombs known as the Circle
of Lebanon. Connor wasn't exactly nervous, but he did feel relief when Abby
took hold of the back of his hoody near his lower back and held on. Perhaps
she was also a little weirded out be being in the cemetery at night. He reached
back and took her hand, closing it in his. She didn't pull away.
"Wonder if I can sneak a peek at Douglas Adams' grave. He supposed to
be in here somewhere," said Connor. Abby merely smiled before reaching
up and tipping his hat almost off his head. The righted it and she smiled at
The anomaly was at the first clearing, bright and brilliant as always, a living
moving prism. Cutter was there with Jenny and the two of them were talking.
The anomaly site was surrounded by soldiers, setting up the usual security perimeter.
Stephen walked on ahead and tossed Nick the torch before walking on through
"Connor! Abby!" called Cutter, motioning them closer.
"Why did Stephen just go through the anomaly?" asked Connor. Cutter
chuckled, confusing the two new arrivals even more.
"What's amazing?" asked Abby.
"Why don't you see for yourself, come on."
"I'll be staying behind if it's all the same," said Jenny. "I'll
be back in the morning." And then she was off, walking back into the dark
in her high heels. Connor and Abby watched her go, still perplexed, before turning
back to the Professor and watched him walk through the anomaly. Connor and Abby
shared another look before walking hand in hand through to the other side. It
wasn't dinosaurs that met them on the other side. It was a beach on a sunny
day. Behind them was a small wood and before them was a dark blue ocean.
"Wow, would you look at that," said Connor once his eyes adjusted
to the bright sunlight. "When are we? Those are pine trees... do you suppose
it's the Cretaceous?"
"Look to your left," said Cutter, trying to stifle his laughter.
They did and beyond the pair of soldiers guarding the anomaly from this side
was a promenade, a pier and an entire waterfront town.
"Oh my god... is.. is that Brighton?" gasped Abby.
"Looks like, doesn't it?" replied Stephen. "You're from Brighton,
"Yeah... well, not since I was seventeen. Leaving was the best day of
my life." Connor's brow furrowed at her comment. Abby never talked about
her past and he'd never asked. He knew she'd been born and raised in Brighton
and had been a foster child after her parents died, but he never knew any real
details. He always refrained from prying. Abby was fairly secretive about herself
as it was. He never wanted to upset her by nosing into her business. She let
go of his hand and took a few steps towards the beach. "I wonder what year
"Who knows?" said Cutter. "Which is why I thought you two might
like to come exploring. Normally it's imprudent to take tours through the world
on this side, but it's..." Just then a car went speeding by on the road
up on the hill with Oasis blaring from the radio. "Fairly recent in history,
so I think we can keep the butterfly effect to a minimum by just taking a stroll.
The soldiers will guard the anomaly. I figure we can take an hour, walk the
promenade, explore a little. You've all got your radios, so if there's any sign
the anomaly's going to close the soldiers will call us back. Just be smart and
don't interfere with anyone. Don't do anything blatantly stupid. And yes that
means you Connor."
"Hey!" cried Connor.
"Off with yah, don't eat too much cotton candy." Stephen and Nick
made their way up to the road while Connor looked for Abby, seeing her making
her way down to the beach. There was no choice, he followed Abby.
"Hey Abbs! Wait up!" Connor called as he ran after her. She turned
back and waited for him. They didn't speak as they walked along the beach towards
the town. Abby spent the time watching the sea while Connor watched her. As
they started to come upon the tourists Connor tried to start up a conversation
with her again. "You've gone all quiet. Must be strange to be back, eh?"
"Yeah, you could say that," replied Abby. They were in the thick
of it now, with tourists filling up every space on the beach. They ventured
towards the promenade where the crowds were a little less dense. "I wish
I knew what the date was."
"Well, I'm sure there's a news stand around here somewhere. It's summer
at any rate." Connor peeled off his hoody and tied it around his waist.
That felt a little better. Meanwhile Abby seemed to be shivering and hugged
her arms around herself. The conversation died again and Connor grew concerned.
She'd been so upbeat and full of smiles before they'd crossed over. Now she
looked sad and maybe even a little bit scared. Connor spotted the sought after
news stand and jogged away from Abby to pick up a newspaper. He came back to
her with it straight away. "Looks like it's July 29th, 1995!" Connor
watched as Abby's face darkened. Her beautiful blue eyes seemed to lose their
luster all of a sudden. Her jaw clenched and she started shaking. "Abby?"
"Connor, I wanna go back," she said in almost a whisper, barely able
to get the words out. "Please. Right now." Connor set the newspaper
aside on a bench. He cautiously put his arm around her shoulders and started
to guide her back in the direction of the anomaly.
"Okay," was all he said in reply. He tried to read her, to see just
what was upsetting her, but she was looking at the sea again. After a few minutes
she broke away from him and started to run. He followed, but didn't make it
to her before she ran back through the anomaly. He followed her and felt the
shock of crossing over back into the night. It took a while for the his eyes
to adjust, but the soldiers pointed him in the right direction of where Abby
had run. She'd been blindly making her way back through the Circle of Lebanon,
stumbling as she went. Once she realized he was right behind her, she straightened
up and slowed her pace. "Abby what just happened?"
"I'm fine. I just want to go home."
"Please, tell me what happened back there?"
"I don't want to talk about it Connor, just drop it."
"Abby, no. You freaked out. Sure you weren't screaming and flailing, but
something upset you terribly. You can talk to me, you know you can."
"Okay, okay. But not here, at home." Connor drove them back to the
flat and Abby didn't say a single word the whole way, but instead chewed on
her thumbnail and stared out the window. Abby walked in ahead of him, still
not speaking, and Connor could tell she was keeping a tenuous grasp on her emotions.
"I'm going to bed, okay? You should too, you must be exhausted."
"Abby, you said you'd tell me."
"Connor, can we not? I'm thrashed." He took her by the shoulders
and made her face him.
"What's got you so shaken? Was it seeing Brighton? How old were in 1995?
Did something happen on July 29th?"
"You're more perceptive than people give you credit for... yeah, yeah,
something bad happened. I... I was twelve, my brother was nine."
"A brother? I didn't know you had a brother."
"Yeah, he's called Jack. We're not exactly close." Connor led her
to the couch and sat down with her. Taking her hands in his, he gently caressed
them, letting her know she was safe with him. "My dad walked out when I
was little and I haven't seen him since. It was before Jack was born. His dad
stuck around, even though he and mum ran hot and cold. They went through phases,
sometimes things were pretty good. We'd be a family. Jack's dad was all right.
He didn't mind me being around even though I wasn't his. It wasn't always good
though, they'd get into fights, they'd get drunk and sometimes things got out
of control. The police came a few times for domestic disputes. It never got
super violent. They shoved each other about, but he never hit her or anything.
They died when I was ten and Jack was seven. His dad was drunk and was driving
he n' mum home. He lost control, they hit a tree and that was the end of it.
We didn't have any family on mum's side and Jack only had an aunt. She was too
young to take care of two kids, might've been twenty, I think. We went into
foster care and the first few months were really awful. We missed our mum. Jack
clung to me then, loved me then, but that changed over time. Eventually we went
to a good place, a really lovely place where we were welcomed like part of the
family. The Clarksons were amazing. Gretchen and Miles. We even went on holiday
with them to the Galapagos when I was eleven. We'd only just moved in and they
were taking us to the other side of the world! That's where I first got into
the lizards. It was the most amazing, most beautiful place on Earth. They were
the most wonderful people on Earth... and I destroyed them." Her first
tears started to fall and Connor reached up to wipe them away with the pad of
"How? How can a little girl destroy anyone?"
"Oh Connor, you have no idea. They had a daughter. Angela and I were both
twelve years old and the best of friends, just like sisters. We were walking
home from the Pier along the promenade by the beach. We knew we'd be in trouble
because it was way past curfew and already dark out. We were supposed to be
home by nine, but it was already almost ten. Angela was scared and for some
reason, can't even remember why, I was teasing her about it. I'd developed a
tough skin by then. Jack and I had already been bumped around to a few different
foster homes. Angela wanted to stop and go into one of the restaurants up on
the street to call her mum to come get us. I called her a baby she started to
cry. I got into a huff and stormed off..." Abby's voice broke and fat tears
fell from her eyes. Connor inched closer and wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
She caved into him and sobbed. Connor held her and left her have her cry. Eventually
she calmed enough to go on with her story. "I never saw her again. Not
until... until they found her body." Connor tightened his hold on her and
she did the same. "They found her in a field a few miles away about a week
after she disappeared. Someone... some man... he did terrible things to her
before she died. She was just a girl, Connor, she'd never hurt a fly. She was
my only friend and I got her killed!"
"Abby, that's nonsense, you were a kid."
"But I left her! She was already scared and I abandoned her and some sick
monster took her and killed her! Everything changed on July 29th. Her mum said
it was my fault, that it was because I left her behind that it happened. Her
dad couldn't look at me. They sent us away not too long after that. They couldn't
bear to have me anywhere near them. Things got so bad after that. The place
Jack and I ended up, it was horrible. I can't even begin to describe it. The
wife treated us like we were her slaves and the husband..." Abby shuddered
and squeezed Connor tightly around the waist. "The neighbours called the
police one night... he'd been beating us again with his belt and I screamed
so loudly, but it only made it worse... the police took us away. We'd been through
six homes by the time I was seventeen. Jack blamed me too. He'd loved it with
the Clarksons, they loved him too and I ruined it. I ruined everyone's lives."
"Shhh... Abby none of it was your fault. Grief can do all sorts of things
to people, I'm sure the Clarksons didn't know what they were sending you to."
"If I could just change what happened, go back and tell myself not to
leave her alone!"
"If you'd stayed with her, then maybe you would've died too. Then what
would've happened? You'd have never worked at the zoo. You'd have never gone
to see about Rex and we'd have never met. I can't think of anything worse than
not knowing you, Abby. It would destroy me not to have you in my life.
I... oh god... okay, Abby... I... I feel..."
"Abby I'm in love with you!" He got the words out so fast, he wasn't
sure he'd actually said them aloud. Abby pulled back, staring at him with mouth
"You... you love me?" He recovered enough from the shock of saying
it to nod is head. She started shaking her head, getting up and backing away
"No, no you can't. You shouldn't! I'm no good for you. I'll only ruin
you too. Everyone who cares about me gets ruined. I... I... Connor you're too
important. I... can't... I'm too horrible to be loved." He rose and reached
for her, but she backed away quickly, almost falling over.
"No! Connor don't!"
"Abby, please. I really do love you. I love you so much it hurts not to
be near you. I can't help it. You're my whole world. I love you." She kept
shaking her head and denying him. When he tried to touch her again, she turned
and bolted, running into her bedroom and locking the door. Connor followed quickly,
but not quickly enough. He stood outside and listened to her sobbing for several
minutes before coming to a decision. He knew it was impulsive and foolish, but
he didn't care. He knew it would unravel his life and those of everyone he knew.
He knew it went against everything logical. He didn't care. He loved Abby too
much. He was going to change the past. He was going to save Abby and change
her future, even if it meant losing her forever in the process.