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'.
Special thanks to casy_dee for the beta!
Connor made it back to Highgate Cemetery in record time. He parked the car
far away from the ARC vehicles and climbed over the fence. He was running through
the Circle of Lebanon when he heard Cutter and Stephen's voices as they came
walking back from their tour on the other side. He quickly flattened himself
into a dark recess beside one of the mausoleums He definitely couldn't get caught
sneaking back through the anomaly. He waited until they were well out of ear
shot before going on. Cutter would probably have his hide for doing what he
was about to do. He continued down the corridor of tombs until he came to the
end and saw the anomaly in the distance. He skirted around through the trees,
avoiding making any sound if he could help it. Fortunately he didn't have any
of his usual clumsy stumbles or falls. He would never be as stealthy or as strong
as someone like Stephen, but he did fancy himself at least a little skilled.
He'd faced enough dinosaurs and predators at this point to be able to move quickly
when he needed too. The soldiers were talking amongst themselves and Connor
saw his opportunity. He came out from the bushes and ducked behind them, moving
as fast and as quietly as he could, practically diving through the anomaly.
Once again the brightness of daylight stung his eyes. He stopped short at the
sight of the two soldiers guarding this side. He straightened up and cleared
his throat. "Whew! Sure is one hell of a rush going, um, through one of
those things, eh?" said Connor nervously.
"Mr. Temple?" inquired one of the soldiers. "Mr. Cutter and
Mr. Hart just returned. The Professor said no one else would be through until
"Right. Of course. I just saw them. Thing of it is, I left me cell phone
on this side, on the promenade. I know exactly where it is. Someone'll come
across it eventually so I best hurry up eh?"
"A cell phone?" The soldier seemed skeptical.
"It's a smart phone, 3G network n' all that. Those haven't been invented
yet in this time. If anyone with half a brain found it, it could unravel society,
destroy the space time continuum, all that n' more."
"Whatever, carry on." With a nod, Connor was off and running down
the beach towards the promenade. Once there he stopped someone to ask them the
time. It was after 7pm in the evening. The sun would be setting in approximately
two hours. He had to find Abby and her friend Angela before then. Once he did,
he couldn't lose sight of them. His plan was to follow them and stop whoever
took Angela from getting her. He didn't really care what happened to him, so
long as Angela got away. However, hindsight being twenty-twenty, he wished he'd
brought a gun with him. Not that anyone would let him use one. Ever. He walked
briskly to the pier, remembering Abby saying that's where she and Angela had
been before making their way back home. He wished he knew what direction they'd
be going in. He prayed for a miracle and that somehow he'd find them in time.
For over an hour he walked back and forth on the promenade around the pier,
as well as up and down the pier itself. It was tourist season and the place
was packed to the gills. There were dozens of young girls that could've been
a twelve year old Abby. He didn't even know if her hair had been long or short.
By dusk he was in a panic. They could be anywhere now. He sat down on the bench
at the end of the pier and looked out at the ocean. He was convinced he'd failed
and that he'd return home to the same broken girl. Maybe over time he could
get through to her and she'd believe that she was the brightest, most beautiful
and lovable woman he'd ever known. He'd never give up on her no matter how much
she pushed him away. He was about resign himself to failure and walk back to
the anomaly when he heard a laugh. It was small and girlish, but it was unmistakably
Abby's. The two girls were walking down from the pier hand in hand, laughing
together and eating popcorn. They sat down on the bench opposite Connor. He
tried not to be conspicuous with his looking at them. There were still plenty
of people around, but the crowd was thinning rapidly. This Abby was a miniature
version of the one he knew. There was no mistaking her now that he beheld her.
She was half the size of his Abby and utterly adorable. Her hair was long and
in a pony tail and her blue eyes were huge and full of joy. Angela was tall
and gangly with strong bone structure, quite in contrast to the round and petite
Abby. They were giggling together, throwing popcorn kernels up in the air and
trying to catch them in their open mouths. Connor smiled as he watched them
together. It convinced him that he was doing the right thing.
The girls were so caught up with each other that neither noticed the time.
Connor watched as their playful laughter dissolved into the argument Abby had
told him about. In the end, Abby got up and ran away while a shocked Angela
looked on. After a few minutes the young girl dissolved into tears. Connor fought
every compulsion to go and try and comfort her. For one thing, any older male
talking to a young girl would be seen as strange or suspicious, and also because
he wanted to catch the bastard who had killed her. If the monster wasn't found
out then he'd remain a threat. Who knew? Maybe next time it would be Abby who
was put in danger. Connor couldn't even stomach the idea. So, he watched and
waited. Several people looked at the young girl crying on the bench, but no
one asked if she was okay, even the women. Half an hour passed and Connor waited.
Angela had stopped crying and was just sitting there. He made sure not to look
at her. The last thing he wanted to do was spook her. She didn't know he wasn't
a threat. He heard her sigh and stand up, stomping up the stairs to the top
of the promenade and started to make her way home. Connor got up and followed,
maintaining a healthy distance and making sure he just looked like a regular
young bloke on a night time walk and definitely not following a twelve year
old girl home. The promenade was nearly deserted and Connor could see how scared
Angela was. He made sure his foot falls were quiet and he slowed his pace. He
desperately didn't want to alert her to his presence.
After another five minutes Connor was surprised to see another man cross the
street and position himself between he and Angela. He looked more or less normal,
not especially skeevy or dangerous. He was probably in his thirties, Caucasian,
dressed in jeans and tshirt with a leather jacket over it. He wore a baseball
cap too with short cropped hair beneath it. Had he also been following Angela
all the way from the pier? But on the other side of the street so as not to
alarm her? Was this the bastard that took her life? Connor increased his pace,
closing the distance between him and the other man. The rows of closed shops,
restaurants and street lamps was ending. There was a pub up the road and there
were still cars in front but the distance between the pub and the promenade
was a couple hundred yards. Once Angela was in the darkness the other man broke
into a sprint. He scooped the young girl up off the ground and ran deep into
the black. She hadn't screamed because his hand was firmly clamped over her
mouth. Connor ran after them as fast as his legs could carry him. He could hear
Angela's muffled screams but could see nothing until the sliding door of a van
opened in the distance and the interior light came on.
The man was so involved with forcing the thrashing girl into the vehicle that
he didn't sense Connor coming barreling down upon him until he was suddenly
grabbed by the back of the shoulders and hauled away. Connor threw him to the
ground and kicked him hard in the ribs. Angela had fallen into the seat less
cabin of the van and was sobbing uncontrollably. Connor quickly pulled her up
on her feet set her on the ground. She threw her arms around him.
"Shhh, love, it's all right," he said soothingly, hugging her back.
The respite lasted only a moment as the man was back up and attacking again,
punching Connor in the face. Connor was knocked against the body of the van
and Angela was thrown to the ground. "Run!!" Connor shouted at her
as he struggled with his assailant. "RUN!" The girl got over her fright
and shock and scrambled to her feet, darting in the direction of the only lights
she could see, the pub. Meanwhile Connor pushed against the other man, who tripped
over his own feet and hit the dirt with his back. Connor was on him a second
later, unleashing a torrent of fists to his face. Connor felt a rage build up
inside him, unlike any he'd ever felt before in his life. It consumed him and
blinded him against all reason. He was going to beat the living daylights out
of this monster, maybe even kill him. It wasn't until he was bodily pulled off
the man that Connor realized they were no longer alone. People from the pub
had come to his aid after Angela had run in screaming and crying that someone
had tried to kidnap her and someone else had helped her and now needed help
himself. Two strong burly men held Connor firm as he panted for breath and continued
to kick at the prone body.
"Relax mate, he's out cold," said a gruff voice in his ear.
"He... he..." panted Connor.
"S'all right, the girl told us what he tried to do to 'er. I don't begrudge
you wantin' to beat the tar outta 'im, but that's best left to the police, eh?"
Connor nodded his head and the two men released him. He leaned forward with
his hands on his knees and regained his breath. His knuckles were a shredded
bloody mess, but he found comfort in the fact that so was the guy's face. It
was bruised, swollen, broken and bloody. Connor stood up and wiped the sweat
from his forehead.
"I... I can't stay... I can't talk to the police."
"Why's that? You're the only witness to what he tried to do."
"I know. I know... but..." Connor thought fast, he absolutely couldn't
wait around and be faced with questions he couldn't answer, like why he was
the same Connor Temple as the fifteen year old in Bradburn, Lancanshire. "I've
been in trouble with 'em before. For stealing cars. I'm trying to turn my life
around and I can't be involved in anything sketchy. All right? Please. I saved
the girl. I wanted to help, but I can't have the police asking why I was out
at this hour in the dark. Please."
"Okay. We'll stay with this git. Barb and Dick at the pub have called
the police already so you best get a move on."
"Thank you. Thank you! Make sure the police go over his van. I bet you
anything there's evidence in there... I don't think she was the first."
"Will do. Right, take off mate. You did good. You're a hero. That'll girl
will never forget what you did for her." Connor gave the two men a smile
and then walked briskly back down to the promenade, then the beach and then
back towards the anomaly. He felt a strange worry in the pit of his stomach
as he beheld the anomaly. What had he changed? He dug into his pocket and flashed
the soldiers on guard his cell phone, held up by a bloody hand, then carried
on through the anomaly and home. Connor took a small measure of comfort in discovering
that the soldiers still knew who he was as Connor ignored their questions of
how he'd just come through the anomaly when they'd thought he'd gone home hours
ago. He was definitely not in the mood to discuss anything, he just wanted to
get home. He was relieved to see that the mini was still parked where he left
it. That let him hope that maybe Abby was a part of his life as it was unlikely
he would've chosen that car for himself. If he'd been thinking he could've just
asked the soldiers back at the anomaly if they knew who Abby was, but he was
beyond exhausted and he was in pain. He drove home at a rather unsafe speed,
a growing ache in his body at the prospect of finding himself without the love
of his life in his world.
He parked the car and got out, walking slowly to the door of the flat. His
key slid into the lock and successfully unlatched his front door. He stepped
inside and locked the door behind him. Cautiously he ascended the stairs up
to the flat. From above Rex chirped in greeting and Connor smiled. He was so
glad to see the little dinosaur. If Rex was here, that meant that Abby must
be too. The lamp was on in the living room and a feminine pair of legs were
propped up on the back of the couch. Connor all but wept with relief.
"Abby, I'm home... I...." he stammered, closing the distance between
them. The legs disappeared and the woman sat up, only it wasn't Abby. She had
a thick mane of dark hair and the same strong bone structure and high cheek
bones he'd seen only hours before laughing with her friend.
"Oh hey Conn, there you are! It's almost dawn you know? Good thing I'm
such a night owl or I'd have clobbered you with a mallet for breaking in...
again. Where on Earth have you been? Woah! You look like crap! Were you in a
fight?" Connor could only stare at her in shock, his mouth agape and eyes
wide. "Hello? Earth to Connor!"