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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Primeval fic: Family Ties (Second Life verse)

August 26th, 2012 (09:43 pm)
full

feeling: full

Title: Family Ties

Disclaimer: I do not own Primeval; lena7142 created feral Stephen.

A/N: A short angsty vignette this time in the Continued Adventures of Feral Stephen. As always, everything I do seems to stem from lena7142. Remaining mistakes are my own.

Summary: Helen had sent a clone in his place for the sake of appearances. And no one had noticed.


-o-

When Helen invited him to the Permian, Stephen had thought she was half mad. He’d been fairly certain that when she suggested going through a rift in time, she had been speaking in a strange euphemism for some sexual encounter Stephen could only begin to imagine.

But then they had actually gone through time, and that had been that. A decade later, he had to look back and wonder if he still would have gone if he’d actually believed her. Would he have stepped willingly to the past?

The right answer was no, of course not. But the truth was, he wasn’t sure. He’d never had much in real life. His parents had died when he started university, and he’d always been an only child. He’d never had a lot of close friends, and he’d never been sure what he wanted to study or do with his life. He’d been floundering a bit, in all honesty; that was why he’d said yes to Helen in the first place. She was so certain, so clear, so driven. It hadn’t mattered to him much that she was taking him in all the wrong directions; it had just mattered that she was going there unwaveringly.

In retrospect, it wasn’t something he was proud of. Helen had used him and left him, not even sparing him the dignity of letting people mourn him. She’d sent a clone in his place for the sake of appearances.

And no one had noticed.

Not one.

Of course, to be fair, there hadn’t really been many people in his life who would. No family; no friends. Just a hollow, directionless life that the clone had taken over and made something of.

In this, Stephen knew he couldn’t begrudge his clone much. Stephen had been studying everything and nothing, probably a few terms away from dropping out and trying something else. The clone had lived it better than he would have, no doubt, so Stephen had no right to resent him for it.

Stephen had no right to a lot of things, which just made him resent it all more.

Because there he was, living his own life, and it felt more like his. All the pictures, all the knickknacks -- they were his. This was a life of people Stephen had never loved; feats he’d never accomplished. A diploma that had his name that he’d never earned. Birthdays he’d never celebrated; people he’d never mourned.

He’d struggled and he’d fought and he’d survived, and people here had flourished without him. Stephen Hart had been more than he should have been, built a life, found a family, been a person worth existing.

And Stephen resented him for it. Resented everything about it. Hated him, loathed him, wanted to bring him back from the dead just to rip his throat out and show the world which one of them was real.

Yet, sitting there in the clone’s flat, picking up the pieces of the life the other man had worked so hard to build, Stephen was also grateful. Grateful for the job. For the history. For the family ties that Stephen wouldn’t have been able to build on his own but craved so desperately now.

When Helen invited him to the Permian, Stephen had thought she was half mad. When Cutter brought him back, he was sure the man was just as crazy. Helen had taken him to the past; Cutter offered him a future. The clone had given him the tools to get there.

Now the rest was up to Stephen.

Comments

Posted by: freddiejoey (freddiejoey)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 05:49 am (UTC)
Stephen - eriah

"Because there he was, living his own life, and it felt more like his. All the pictures, all the knickknacks -- they were his. This was a life of people Stephen had never loved; feats he’d never accomplished. A diploma that had his name that he’d never earned. Birthdays he’d never celebrated; people he’d never mourned."

So poignant....

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

Thank you!

Posted by: flaccidduck (flaccidduck)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC)
Hurt/Comfort Matt/Becker

Very powerfully written...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
stephen shocked

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!

Posted by: natchris (natchris)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 06:40 am (UTC)
Wolfbane

Brilliant look at things through Stephen's eyes

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
stephen's eyes

He is such an angsty character, AU, canon or otherwise!

Thanks :)

Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 08:21 am (UTC)
Stephen bruise

That's very sad - and it's a powerful image of Stephen trying to adapt to his strange new life.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

Feral Stephen is so amusing to write at times -- and then so very sad.

Thank you :)

Posted by: fredbassett (fredbassett)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)

Very poignant and very powerful.

A study in contrasts.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

Stephen is a character of contrasts :)

Thanks!

Posted by: reggietate (reggietate)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 09:35 am (UTC)
sadstephen

Poor Stephen... *huggles him* It's bound to take a while to get used to.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
stephen skeptical

Yeah, he's good at adapting but he's got more than most to acclimate himself to.

Thanks :)

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
Blurred


Angst! And the huge irony of Clone Stephen who would have thought in S2 that he was making a horrible job of his own life, not knowing he was an instrument of Helen's past and present plans... (Did clone Stephen actually sleep with Helen or was he given the memories to just think that he had? If the latter, then the poor guy was guilting over something that he hadn't actually physically done!)

Great look into Stephen's thoughts about why he'd gone off with Helen and the last few paras.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

Yeah, Stephen wasn't lucky, no matter which version we're talking about!

(And I *think* the clone just has memories of sleeping with her, just like he has memories of Stephen's childhood and whatnot. But he didn't *actually* sleep with her. Well unless you think they did the deed in S2....)

Thank you!

Posted by: judithjohn (judithjohn)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 11:50 am (UTC)
Abby in orange

*sniff*

It's sad and yet there's a nice note of hope at the end. great stuff!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
stephen skeptical

Stephen's had it rough, but it's bound to get better.

Thanks!

Posted by: joshinator (joshinator)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 11:56 am (UTC)
Stephen

"Yet, sitting there in the clone’s flat, picking up the pieces of the life the other man had worked so hard to build, Stephen was also grateful. Grateful for the job. For the history. For the family ties that Stephen wouldn’t have been able to build on his own but craved so desperately now."

Lovely fic.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
stephen and cutter

Thank you!

Posted by: knitekat (knitekat)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)

Lovely poignant fic and view of things through Stephen's eyes.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
stephen hair

I'm really glad you liked it! Thanks :)

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
helenstephen

Very poignant and bittersweet *hugs him*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

Bittersweet is an apt word for Stephen. Thanks!

Posted by: clea2011 (clea2011)
Posted at: August 27th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
Stephen

That's quite sad, but it's also quite hopeful for the future. Very nice ficlet :-)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

Stephen's had a sad life, but I do like to think it's getting better.

Thanks!

Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: September 1st, 2012 07:22 am (UTC)

How did I miss this? *g*

That was sad and poignant. To know that there's no one close enough to realise the substitution would hurt so much.

And to have the dichotomy of feelings - both gratefulness and jealousy.

Wow. Lovely.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

I often feel sorry for the wide range of emotions Stephen must be going through. He's been through so much!

Thanks!

Posted by: lsellersfic (lsellersfic)
Posted at: September 6th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
Primeval:Stephen

I like the sense of progression from Stephen's resentment of his clone to recognising what he has given him!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 12th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
stephen skeptical

Poor Stephen has to have such conflicted emotions over everything in his life.

Thanks :)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: November 17th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
PE: Danny Quinn

oh, Stephen! ♥

Love this bit: Helen had taken him to the past; Cutter offered him a future. The clone had given him the tools to get there.

(well, really, love the whole thing, but you know what I mean...)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 20th, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
stephen blue wonder

Stephen has the most ridiculous angst in any incarnation.

Thanks :)

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