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Primeval fic: The Life You Save (May Be Your Own) 1/6

April 24th, 2013 (09:23 pm)
excited

feeling: excited

Title: The Life You Save (May Be Your Own)

Disclaimer: I do not own Primeval.

A/N 1: This fic is loosely set in the AU S1 created by the Cutter’s timeline shift at the start of S2. Which means all the events of S1 are presumed to have happened in this fic, but with some variations. Canon for S1 and S2, therefore, are referenced throughout this fic, but it does go decidedly AU for 2.06 and 2.07.

A/N 2: I have to thank sendintheklowns, kristen_mara and goldarrow for their beta’ing services. They helped clean up a lot of issues in this fic. Any remaining typos or continuity issues are entirely my own. My grasp of canon is probably a bit shaky, so I apologize if I screwed it up. Also, while my three betas are amazing and wonderful, none of them happen to be British, so this still has American spellings and probably some American lingo that I didn't catch. Apologies!

Summary: One moment changed everything.



Based on the wonderful art by wallflower18. Be sure to go to her post to comment on her incredible work!

[Click for art!]












PART ONE
PART TWO
PART THREE
PART FOUR
PART FIVE
EPILOGUE



PART ONE



One moment changed everything.

Stephen hedged his bets; Nick cut his losses. Nick threw the punch and didn’t look back. Abby and Connor stood their ground for the lack of something better to do, and didn’t dare rock the boat. Stephen hesitated one last time, but there was nothing left for him there, and he walked away.

On the outside, Leek could see it all. It’d been coming to this for a while now, and in reality, Leek couldn’t say he was surprised. He had watched them breaking, falling apart by their own decisions, a thousand small choices all leading to this moment.

One moment changed everything.

One moment, and Leek could see all his dreams start to come true.

-o-

It started in another moment.

For Leek, maybe it started when he got the job, when Lester rolled his eyes and said he may as well start on Monday. Maybe it was when he came to work, prim and proper, and realized that nothing in the world was as it seemed. Maybe it was when he realized that the government lied just as much as everyone else, when he realized that there was nothing inherently noble about any of it.

Maybe it was when he realized that everyone else at the ARC got to break the rules, and Leek was there to pout and throw a fit -- just so the paperwork could be filed with protest and the government had the necessary paper trail in case the whole mess went public.

Then again, maybe it started before that. Maybe it actually started when he finally graduated from University. He hadn’t made honors, but he’d still got his diploma, and no one could take that from him, even if they didn’t invite him to their after-parties. Maybe it started the next day, when he bought his first suit, spending money he didn’t have so he could look the part for the life he wanted, not the one he had.

Or really, maybe it started even earlier, back when he pined after Melissa Dearborn or when Carissa Hawthorne told him he’d got the wrong idea from her. Maybe it started back at prep school, when he hadn’t been fast enough for football or smart enough for debate. Maybe it started when Gareth Johnson took his lunch money when he was nine, and people started looking down on him from that day forward.

There were lots of places to start, Leek reckoned. Some ironic; some sad. Some just frustrating and seemingly apt.

The easiest beginning, though, was when he met Helen Cutter.

-o-

She was nothing like any other woman he’d ever met. She was strong and robust, and when she looked at him, her eyes were dark with ambition. She had no airs -- she certainly wasn’t dressed to impress -- but she singled him out across the room, catching his gaze and refusing to let go.

In truth, she wasn’t really his type. But considering how long it’d been since Leek had been on a date, he was willing to be flexible.

Still, she had crossed the pub and sat down at his table before he had a chance to rally his courage. His heart was pounding, his palms were sweating; he couldn’t let it show. He had a good job now; he had his own place. He was making something of his life. Women could sense that kind of thing; women were attracted to confidence.

“Why, hello, there,” he said, clearing his throat awkwardly to keep his voice from cracking. “Come here often?”

She smiled. “That’s cute,” she said. “But misguided.”

Leek frowned. The signals had been clear. He shook his head. “I’m just making small talk--”

“I know,” she said, leaning against the table and tilting her head seductively. “But then, I know everything about you.”

His breath caught in his throat, and Leek found himself stiffening back defensively. “I’m not sure I understand.”

“No,” she agreed, and she reached out a hand, letting it settle next to his, just barely touching. He flinched, but she didn’t move, and when he met her gaze again, the intensity was overwhelming. “But take a walk with me, and I think you’ll find that I can give you everything you want.”

Leek hesitated, eyeing her again. She could be crazy, he reckoned. She seemed crazy.

But not. She was smart; knowing; dangerous.

Leek had played it safe all his life, and even when he had everything, he had nothing.

It was quite possible that this woman was insane...

But if she wasn’t...

“How do you know what I want?” he finally asked, voice strained and uncertain.

Her smile widened knowingly. “I told you,” she said. “I know everything about you, Oliver.”

The sound of his name startled him. In his short tenure at the ARC, Lester only called him Leek; he only heard his given name when his mother called to ream him out and tell him about how the other kids in the neighborhood were faring.

It was reason to be concerned.

But then again, it also felt good. Like he was a person. Like this was the first person who had seen him in a long, long time.

Leek took a tentative breath, and then he nodded slowly. “Okay,” he said. “You want to get...leave, then?”

Her fingers laced around his with a squeeze. “I thought you’d never ask.”

-o-

“Nothing in your life is what you think it is,” she announced dramatically, seated in an empty park under a flickering light. She was lounged against it, arm draped around him as she met his eyes intensely. “Not even in the slightest.”

Really, Leek hadn’t been sure what to expect -- but that wasn’t it. Uncomfortable, he laughed awkwardly. “That’s not a very good pick-up line,” he joked.

Her lips quirked upward in bemusement. “Oh, Oliver,” she said, tsking her tongue and shaking her head. “For someone who is so diligent, you really aren’t very good with people, are you?”

Perturbed, Leek frowned. “Look, who are you, anyway?” he asked. “I like a little mystery as much as the next bloke, but really--”

At that, she laughed outright. “If I tell you, you’ll panic,” she said.

“And telling me that won’t?” he asked.

She smirked. “Well, you do like a little mystery by your own admission,” she replied coyly. “I think you’ll hear me out first.”

He wanted to protest. This woman was insane; she was probably a stalker. She knew his name -- maybe this was a joke? Some sort of prank? He wouldn’t put it past some of the Special Forces lads -- they hadn’t liked him or listened to him since he had started.

Her smile widened seductively. “Now,” she said, tracing her finger up his arm. “Let me tell you a story.”

-o-

Once upon a time, you see, scientists theorized that time wasn’t just fluid, but that it existed in planes. These planes could be shifted and altered, and passage might be possible from one to the next with the right electromagnetic frequencies. In this, time travel wasn’t so much a scientific feat; it was merely a naturally occurring phenomenon.

There was no way of telling how or why such rifts started, but it was like a hole in fabric. When it started to fray, it could be stitched up, but the more it was used, the less resolve the stitches held. Eventually, the fabric would unravel, leaving nothing but tatters in the wind.

“This is our future,” she told him resolutely. “The future the ARC has created for us. The future we can change -- together.”

For a moment, Leek could only stare, mouth hanging open. “I should have stayed for another drink,” he said finally. “Somehow, I think I’m going to need it.”

-o-

The thing was, she made sense. She knew about the anomalies -- she knew more than he did. The science had always been hard for him to follow, and even after his time under Lester, he only had a working knowledge of the mechanics.

But then, she didn’t make any sense. Because the ARC was bureaucratic and annoying; it was stifling and contradictory; but they were trying to do the best they could with what they had.

They were the good guys, after all.

Leek didn’t have much in his life -- he didn’t have anything -- but he had that.

Not that any of it mattered. She could be right or wrong, but Leek had signed the Official Secrets Act, so he couldn’t tell her anything one way or another.

The only thing he could do -- the only thing he would do -- was say goodbye.

She withdrew from him carefully, tilting her head. “I know this is a lot to take in--”

“You’re mad,” he said.

“Possibly,” she said. “But not about that. Just think about it. Watch Lester; observe the team in action. Think about what you do, what you try to control. All that intervention -- are you making it better -- or worse?”

Getting up, he shook his head. He didn’t know what to say.

But as he walked away, her voice called after him. “I’ll be seeing you soon, Oliver.”

He hesitated, glancing back. “I certainly doubt that.”

She merely smiled in return, still seated on the bench as he hurried back toward the street. When he got there, he checked his watch, considering finding a cab. For a second, he glanced back, but the bench was empty.

She was gone, as though she’d never been there at all.

Leek could hope, anyway.

-o-

Leek didn’t think about her. He didn’t think about her at his flat that night. He didn’t lay awake on his pillow, thinking about her face, the smooth sound of her voice. I’ll be seeing you soon, Oliver.

He didn’t think about her over coffee the next morning, or during his commute. He didn’t think about her when he settled down at his desk, sorting through the latest stack of papers, trying to figure out which mess to focus on diffusing first.

But when Lester stormed by, dropping a fresh file on top of his neatly organized stack, Leek’s mind wavered. “This one is a top priority, it seems,” Lester said. “If you don’t mind...”

“Actually,” Leek interjected, seeing her dark eyes burning into his mind, “I was hoping to talk to you--”

Lester held up his hand, shaking his head as he brushed back out. “Keep hoping then,” he said. “And please, feel free to make an appointment like the rest of the professional world.”

-o-

Leek did his work. He had always been good at that. He was good with quiet tasks and monotonous chores. He could handle the things no one wanted to do; that was the key to his success. The thing that made him valuable.

More than that, Leek had his priorities in order. He was dutiful. He was respectful. He understood the value of a company line and played it perfectly.

With his completed file, Leek arranged an appointment to see Lester at the end of the day. Whoever the woman had been, Leek had decided over the course of the day that she was a liability. She was dangerous.

He had to report her.

Settled across from Lester, he handed over the file diligently.

Lester made a face, barely looking up. “I do hope you’ve managed to fill out the forms properly this time.”

Leek’s cheeks reddened. “I double-checked them myself.”

Lester shrugged. “Forgive me if that doesn’t instill much confidence.”

Bristling, Leek shifted. Swallowing, he wet his lips and prepared his words. He would just tell Lester; that was the right thing to do. He would be honest and open, and Lester would think better of him for it.

Finally Lester looked up, face contorted in apparent disdain. “Was there something else?”

Leek’s eyebrows went up. “Well, actually--”

Lester rolled his eyes. “The question was rhetorical,” he said. He lifted his hand, flicking it toward the door. “Now, please, find your way out before I decide to replace you with a dinosaur or something else of lower intelligence.”

Stunned, the words died in his throat, and Leek closed his mouth. “Yes, sir,” he said, standing on numb legs. At the doorway, he hesitated, glancing back.

Lester didn’t look up.

Steeling himself, Leek kept on walking.

-o-

Fortunately, there was always plenty to do. That was the thing with government jobs, after all. Lots of work, lots of hoops to jump through, lots of paperwork: never enough pay.

Or enough time.

Or any respect.

Leek really didn’t have any time to dwell on his mysterious visitor. He was too busy trying to make sure that the world didn’t implode and that no one died. He also had to ensure that no one found out that the government was hiding dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in downtown London.

All while being yelled at by Special Forces, ordered around by Lester, and generally being disdained by the scientific staff. And that didn’t even get him started on the belligerent ingratitude of Nick Cutter and his so-called team.

Leek was hard-pressed to believe they were the best the UK had to offer. Nick Cutter was nothing short of a loose cannon at times, so pig-headed that if he ever accidentally blasted his metaphorical ship to shreds, he’d still say he was right to do it. Then the young ones -- Connor Temple and Abby Maitland -- were so busy keeping animals illegally and flirting with people who were mostly oblivious to their advances -- that it was amazing that they got anything done at all.

And he had no idea what to make of Stephen Hart. His file suggested good things but he was quiet and seemed to have a penchant for getting himself into messes. The man had already been injured twice on the job, and while he could track and shoot better than anyone else on the team, it seemed less than ideal to have someone with so little regard to his personal safety on the team.

The ARC, in short, was a mess. It had only been operation for several months, and Leek could tell that implementing any useful changes would be almost impossible. Lester had no control, and the team had no structure or order. Needless to say, the Home Office was concerned, and Leek had to pretend like everything was well and good when nothing was in fact well or even remotely good.

That was why he’d been so pleased to see Lester actually consider hiring someone else for the team. Leek had produced a shortlist of qualified candidates, but he’d put Jenny Lewis at the top of the list. They needed someone of her caliber to smooth things over with the press, and Jenny was good at what she did. She was attractive, too, but Leek had no delusions of grandeur. He was hopeful that there would be someone else who seemed, practical, down-to-earth and capable of seeing all sides of an issue – assuming Lester finally pulled the proverbially trigger.

Still, these were the good guys, Leek reminded himself. True heroes; patriots. They had good intentions.

That was what mattered.

That had to be what mattered.

-o-

Leek had been hired after the ARC’s inception. He’d been on staff for a few months now, but he still felt like he was perpetually behind the curve. It didn’t help that things had been crazy there, each week seemingly more than the last. Incursions, cover ups, tactical snafus – the ARC was fumbling from one disaster to the next, it seemed.

Then one morning, Lester barged into his office and put a CD on his desk. “I want you to scour every detail from this footage and cross reference everything. I don’t care if it seems obscure, write it down and file it,” Lester ordered.

Leek nodded. “Sure, but what am I watching exactly?”

“An interview,” Lester said tautly. “From Helen Cutter.”

Leek’s eyebrows went up. “She said something of interest finally?” he asked.

“Possibly,” Lester said. “That’s what we want you to find out.”

Leek shook his head. “Can’t you just interview her again?”

Lester’s face got pinched. “Apparently not,” he said. “She escaped.”

Leek’s eyes went wide. “She escaped? How?”

“That’s none of your concern,” Lester replied tersely. “All I want is for you to scour every second of that footage and transcribe it in detail for me.”

“Is she a fugitive, then?” Leek asked.

Lester sighed. “Not exactly,” he said. “So far she’s done nothing strictly illegal but her knowledge of the anomalies is cause for real concern. I’m fairly certain we can’t trust her. The more we know about her, the better.”

Leek nodded. “Okay, then,” he said. “I’ll get right on it.”

“Forgive me for not beaming with confidence,” Lester said. “When you’re done, give the video back to Lorraine and she’ll make sure it’s passed around to the appropriate parties.”

Alone now, Leek started the CD in his computer’s drive. It took a moment for it to load, and when it did, he had to squint to see in the poor quality footage. Lester was there, along with Cutter and other members of the team. He had to lean closer to see the figure seated in the middle of the table, bathed in light. She looked familiar.

He frowned.

She looked very familiar.

Her mannerisms were guarded, but when she looked at the camera, Leek shuddered.

Helen Cutter.

She was the woman from the bar.

Helen Cutter.

-o-

Leek watched the footage numbly, too shocked to transcribe it. When it was over, he dug through his files, reviewing the information they already had on Helen.

He’d heard the name, of course. He’d heard it more than once. Helen Cutter was Nick’s long lost and then found and now lost again wife. He knew she was suspected of being associated with the anomalies and her intentions were considered suspicious, although there was nothing confirmed. Still, whenever she was mentioned, people got tense and Lester seemed to develop a headache.

Though, given that she’d spent time married to Nick Cutter, Leek had to wonder if some of it wasn’t her fault. So far her antics had been mysterious but she’d never been openly hostile. She’d tried to save people, even. Leek couldn’t blame people for wanting to stay far away from government bureaucracy. Sometimes he wondered what he himself was doing here, except for the paycheck and some misplaced sense that civic duty would make him more important.

In everything, he had no reason to actively distrust or even dislike Helen Cutter.

Helen Cutter.

The ARC’s most wanted; Nick Cutter’s ex-wife; Stephen Hart’s former teacher.

Oliver Leek’s stalker.

As if things weren’t complicated enough.

-o-

He took the file with him that night. He read it during dinner; he reread it while sipping tea into the evening. By the time he settled into bed, he had it memorized.

It was quite the story. Her brilliance and her long hiatus -- signs suggested that she had, quite possibly, gone a little mad. She’d showed up, played her games, and then walked away with no further trace.

Well, no official trace. Leek didn’t know what the next chapter of her story would be. He could have, if he’d only known. Maybe he still could; she had promised to see him again.

Not that he wanted to help her. That would be asinine. She was wanted; she could face criminal charges for her meddling. And, if her words regarding the ARC were as suggestive as she clearly intended them to be, she could be a verifiable danger to the program and national security at large.

The only sensible thing was to tell Lester. To make him listen.

That was the sensible thing. The right thing.

Still, when he fell asleep while reading the papers again, he could still hear her voice, almost taunting him now.

I can give you everything you want.

Sleeping fitfully, Leek couldn’t help but wish that were true.

-o-

He woke up tired, having slept through his alarm. He had to skip shaving, barely washing his hair before taking a quick drink of water and hurrying out the door. As it was, he didn’t get his coat and tie on until he was at the office, but he managed to just be presentable enough, waiting and ready with the morning files when Lester came in.

Lester grunted at him, taking a drink of his coffee as he brushed past Leek with a look of disdain.

Leek grimaced, but he wasn’t surprised. Lester had hired him but barely seemed to tolerate his presence. If Leek hadn’t been there for the interview himself, he would question whether or not he imagined it entirely.

Which was to say, Leek had come to expect Lester’s complete lack of respect. It wasn’t even personal; Lester respected virtually no one. Leek still had a job to do. More than that, he had a duty, and he would do what it took to uphold that. And even if he didn’t show it, Lester would have to respect that.

“Sir,” Leek said, trying to keep pace but finding himself just a step behind. “I was wondering if you had a moment--”

Lester snorted, picking up some files from Lorraine’s desk as he passed. “I don’t.”

Leek would not be deterred. “I know you’re busy, but--”

Lester stopped at his office door, turning to look at Leek in earnest. “Do you then?” he asked.

Leek blinked. “Do I...?”

“Do you know I’m busy?”

Leek was still at a loss. “Well, yes...”

“Then why are you still standing here, taking up my valuable time?” Lester continued pointedly.

Mouth open, Leek found his words evaporating on his tongue.

“And finally,” Lester crooned. “The dulcet sounds of silence. Thank you very much, Mr. Leek. I trust you can find something more productive to do than stand idly in my presence?”

Cheeks flushed, Leek opened his mouth to object.

Lester held up a hand, face contorted almost in agony. “Don’t go spoiling it now,” he said. “We were getting on so well.”

Leek took a breath. “Sir, really, if I could just have a moment--”

Lester made a face. “And now it’s spoiled,” he said.

“If you just listen--”

Lester shook his head, moving in the office. “I am positively too disappointed to hear anything now,” he said. “Go ruin someone else’s day now, please?”

Before Leek could say more, Lester slammed the door on his face.

For a second, Leek stood, file still in hand, fist clenched and ready to knock, to open the door anyway to make him listen.

But Lester didn’t want to listen. Lester barely even saw him. Lester probably didn’t even know his first name.

There wasn’t any point.

Closing his mouth, Leek locked his jaw and turned sharply.

From her desk, Lorraine raised her eyebrows. “You should know better than to bother him before he’s finished his coffee.”

Huffing, Leek pursed his lips. “Like it would make a difference.”

Lorraine shrugged. “I can make you an appointment--”

“So I can schedule my flagellation?” Leek asked. “No thanks.”

“I’m just trying--”

“Well, don’t,” Leek snapped. Then his shoulders slumped guiltily; it wasn’t Lorraine’s fault -- not really. Lester had a busy job; the ARC was a stressful place. Leek knew that; he understood that. Even if it was hard.

Still, this was no way to act. He offered Lorraine a weak smile. “Look, I’ll just...,” he said, shrugging helplessly. “I’ll work it out on my own somehow.”

Lorraine smiled at him blandly; she didn’t look convinced.

Walking back to his office, Leek couldn’t blame her.

-o-

Back at his desk, Leek had plenty to do. Someone had deposited more files for him to work through and he had a growing stack of paperwork to get back to the Home Office before day’s end. Leek had always been dutiful and efficient, but every time he looked at a form, he kept seeing Helen Cutter’s face.

She couldn’t have meant well. If she’d had good intentions, she would have reported to the ARC herself, sat down for a face-to-face with Lester...

Who probably would have had her arrested and held without her consent. There were good reasons to want to work outside the system. Leek hadn’t worked here all that long, but all his time in government had made that abundantly clear. Not everyone was meant for such limitations. Not everyone could handle it like Leek could.

Women like Helen Cutter...

He shook his head, muttering at himself. This was off the point. It wasn’t Leek’s place to decide who was good and who was bad. He was not in charge of policy; he only ensured that policy was properly enacted and adhered to.

To that end, it didn’t matter what Helen Cutter had to say. Only that she’d contacted him and that such an encounter needed to be reported. If Lester wouldn’t listen, Leek could just file a report.

Plucking through the orderly piles, Leek found the irregularity report. He started filling out the details at the top -- recalling the date and time and location -- but when he sat down to explain what happened, he found himself stopping short.

It had already been a few weeks. It would look suspicious reporting it now. After all, wouldn’t he want to report a civilian quoting facts about the ARC? Wouldn’t that have warranted immediate action? Why hadn’t Leek done his civic duty and contractual obligation the day it happened?

Because Lester hadn’t listened. Because he hadn’t been sure. Because...

Maybe he didn’t want to.

Sighing, he put down his pen, picking up the report and ripping it neatly in two. He ripped it a few more times before dropping the remnants into the trashcan.

He didn’t know why he didn’t report it.

In truth, Leek didn’t know anything at all.

-o-

Leek had got this far in his life by doing what needed to be done. He had been careful and diligent; he’d followed the rules, excelling precisely because he knew what needed to be done. It was neither brilliance nor ingenuity; it was simple persistence in networks that most people found maddening.

With life at the ARC, Leek was beginning to understand that. Every day was one debacle after the next. He found himself trailing after a makeshift team of so-called experts who rarely had the decency to fill out a report properly. When he brought it up, he was told that they had more important things to tend to.

Dinosaurs made a compelling case, and Leek would be willing to let it slide except Lester somehow blamed him when the i’s weren’t dotted and the t’s weren’t crossed. As if he alone were responsible for ensuring that the ARC complied with government regulations since no one else, including the damn dinosaurs, could be bothered.

He had some solace in this. Even if he told them about Helen Cutter, they wouldn’t have time to deal with it. The anomalies were getting more frequent; the incursions were more dramatic. Helen Cutter was a secondary concern.

At least, that was what Leek told himself.

Between the stacks of paperwork, the rebuffs from Cutter and his team, and Lester’s lectures, that was all Leek could tell himself.

-o-

When weeks passed, Leek found he was able to not think about it all for the most part. One encounter didn’t make a national security mess, and really, it was the one thing in his life that seemed to go away if he ignored it.

Not like the rest.

He’d known government work was thankless, but the ARC was uncommonly difficult. Soldiers and scientists and creatures -- if Leek wasn’t worried about one of the caged creatures getting lose and eating him, he was trying to package the loss of public and personal property to Home Office in a way that didn’t get him sacked.

His desk was a dumping ground; he was the golden whipping boy. People saw him and wanted to complain. One word out of his mouth, and people were yelling.

No wonder Lester had trouble filling the position. Leek had half a mind to quit -- to just forget the whole bloody mess, but what else would he do?

After a harrowing day, he found himself back at the pub. Straight from the office, he wondered if he might find some company, but no one looked particularly interested as he sat himself at a table and ordered a drink. He downed the first to forget about Cutter and his intrepid team of unprofessional disasters. He drank the second to numb the scathing rebuke from Lester about Home Office’s latest objection. He drank the third to forget about giant centipedes and pterosaurs.

When the fourth came, he was surprised. The waitress shrugged, nodding toward the bar.

On a stool, facing him, Helen Cutter smiled.

-o-

This time, she didn’t join him. Not that Leek gave her the chance. He pulled out his wallet, paid his tab, and walked out, the untouched drink still on the table.

He didn’t need this. Helen Cutter made things complicated. Talking to her was simply a bad idea; it would lead to nothing but trouble. Her intentions could be whatever they were, but Leek would be fired if he kept this up -- or worse. Under the Official Secrets Act, they could do just about any damn thing they wanted to him. Leek didn’t have much, but he’d worked too hard to get this far, and he wasn’t about to lose it now.

He’d have nothing to fall back on.

He’d have nothing.

Leek didn’t fancy himself as a person with high morals, but he liked to fit in. He liked to have a place. He couldn’t risk that.

He wouldn’t.

Still, when he got outside, he found his breathing short and his chest tight. His heart hammered and he almost tripped over his own feet as he made his way down the street. Crossing the street, he almost stepped in front of a car, and he broke into a jog as the driver stuck his head out the window to yell at him.

Flushed, Leek felt lightheaded when he got to the park, and he collapsed to the bench, eyes squeezed shut while he remembered how to breathe. He wasn’t sure how long he sat there, trying to get his bearings, but when he opened his eyes, Helen was there.

“My, my,” Helen observed. “You’re certainly in a hurry tonight, Oliver.”

Leek’s jaw twitched and he closed his eyes, sucking in a few more steadying breaths. Opening them again, he shook his head. “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Helen’s face creased with feigned insult. “And here I thought we could be friends.”

“I know who you are,” he said. “I know that even seeing you would send up every alarm in the ARC.”

She shrugged indifferently. “That’s your business, not mine.”

He huffed, running a hand nervously over his hair. “I should call Home Office -- or even Lester,” he said. “Even Nick Cutter -- they’re all looking for you.”

Impassively, she pursed her lips. “Then why don’t you?”

And that was the question, he realized. Why didn’t he? Why didn’t he tell Lester right away? Why didn’t he just file the damn report, consequences be damned? Why had he spent weeks thinking about her, weeks keeping her secret, weeks trying to convince himself that he didn’t care about her at all?

Yes, it was complicated. Yes, it would reflect poorly on him. Yes, there just wasn’t time in the day.

But it was more than that, and he knew it. It was the nights he stayed up, thinking about her. It was the fact that he kept coming back to the same pub, just in case he saw her again.

Wetting his lips, he took a breath. “Because,” he said, voice quavering just for a moment before he found himself suddenly steady. When he looked her in the eyes, he didn’t look away this time as the realization came to him, more strongly than anything he’d felt in a long, long time. “You said you have something I want.”

-o-

This time, he invited her back to his place.

To his surprise -- and perhaps to his trepidation -- Helen accepted.

When they got there, Leek found himself self-conscious, wishing he’d had time to dust or stop at the store for something to eat.

Helen, however, made herself at home. Eyeing the place curiously, she settled on his couch with a smirk. “I like your place,” she mused. “Classic with hints of the latest trends. I can see you put some time into decorating.”

Leek found himself blushing, feeling suddenly ridiculous for the modern art he’d picked out. He’d never liked it, but the salesgirl had promised him it was the latest thing. He’d been sure to ask for delivery, hoping that giving his address might spark something, but it had been almost a year now.

He cleared his throat, sitting in a chair adjacent to the couch. “I’m fairly certain that this really isn’t about interior design,” he said. “So I suggest you tell me something of importance before I do the right thing and call Lester right now.”

She cocked her head, looking bemused. “Well,” she said. “Look at you, being forceful.” Her lips quirked into a smile. “I like a man who takes charge.”

His blush deepened, and Leek shifted uncomfortably. “I mean it.”

Helen sat back with an easy air. “Of course you do, Oliver,” she said, sounding almost empathetic. “You’ve always been one to follow the rules.”

“Well, rules provide order,” Leek said. “Order is control; it’s power. People think that’s always the big things, but it’s the little things, too.”

He faltered -- it was something he’d thought a lot about, but he realized that this was the first time he’d said it out loud. It sounded strangely idealistic and almost egotistical.

And simply ridiculous.

If only his job was really about power. The ARC didn’t operate within any kind of normal, standardized protocol. The ARC was a mess of dysfunctional teamwork and disparate ideas. It was a nonstop power struggle because no one cared about doing things the same way. If they all took the time to learn the same routines and the same processes -- they could minimize risk and maximize their effectiveness. Response time would improve by the sheer virtue of a smooth team dynamic.

He’d seen this right away, written a report about it--

A report no one had read.

Helen didn’t laugh, though. Instead, he pressed her lips together thoughtfully. “You know, the ARC would be better if more people thought like that.”

It was a subtle affirmation, but Leek felt his heart leap with it. “I’ve tried to talk to Lester--”

Helen snorted. “Talking to Lester is an exercise in futility,” she said. “I tried. It merely got me on a wanted list.”

“He makes like he’s confident, but he’s bloody terrified something will go wrong and he’ll be sacked for it,” Leek said with a shake of his head.

“And that’s why the ARC is such a mess,” Helen said with a cluck of her tongue. “A fundamental lack of leadership.”

It was true; every part of it. Leek had been thinking it for weeks -- for months -- since he first saw what the ARC did and what it was all about. It was an important service they provided on many levels -- protection and scientific -- but it was being used poorly. Its potential was unrealized.

He stopped himself, forcing himself to stay in the moment. This wasn’t just about the ARC; this was about Helen -- and why she was here.

Hemming himself in, he regained his self-control. “That is all besides the point, though,” he said

Her eyebrows arched. “Is it?”

“You surely didn’t come all this way just to complain about Lester’s managerial style,” Leek told her.

“No, but I am here to tell you that the ARC is the problem,” she said.

Leek made a small, derisive sound. “No government agency is perfect--”

“No, Oliver,” she interrupted, face suddenly serious again. “The ARC is the problem. The one that destroys this entire planet.”

Leek’s incredulity faltered; he might think she was exaggerating, but nothing about her suggested such things. Helen Cutter had been right more than she’d been wrong, but no one had ever listened to her.

Leek was listening to her now.

More than that, Leek was hearing the implication of every word. His chest twinged and his stomach fluttered. “That still doesn’t explain why you’re here.”

“I’m here because if the ARC is the problem,” she said slowly, eyes never leaving him, not for a second, “I think you might be the solution.”

-o-

Ever since joining the ARC, Leek had learned to stop thinking of anything as impossible.

In a world with rifts in time and prehistoric creatures coming to and fro, Helen’s story was not so far-fetched. She said she’d been to the future, that she’d seen what the ARC had become. She’d seen how they had tampered with the anomalies, manipulating them until they became unstable and threatened the stability of time itself. She explained how future leaders weaponized the program, turning it from scientific research and self-defense to military development.

Anomalies were created to go back in history and right wrongs; they were tested to travel easily from one place to the next for maximum attack advantage. Creatures were brought back, tested and unleashed. Genetic advancement gave them the power to breed and cross-mate, until the most ferocious beasts ever imagined roamed the earth.

The result was that mankind had essentially destroyed itself -- and everything else. The future was ravaged with war and hunger, and people lived in small colonies to protect themselves from the predators. All the beauty had been lost; all civilization had been sacrificed. All because of the ARC.

Helen had come back to fix it.

For a moment, Leek just stared.

Then, he laughed.

Helen’s face darkened. “It’s not funny.”

“No,” he said, running a hand over his mouth. “It’s probably not, but it is impossible.

“You said it yourself, the ARC is wildly out of control--”

“Mismanagement leads to extra spending and extra work,” Leek said. “Not worldwide domination. The ARC doesn’t even have the resources--”

“Not yet--”

“Lester’s an arrogant prick, but he’s not maniacal,” Leek argued.

“And he won’t be in charge forever,” she countered. “The rampant lack of organization leaves the ARC wide open to manipulation, and it won’t take much before the entire thing is wrested away from scientific pursuit altogether. And even now, it’s not like Nick and the team of ARC scientists have any clue what they’re doing.”

“Granted, there is a lack of professionalism--”

“This isn’t about suits and ties and paperwork,” Helen hissed. “It’s about children playing with things they don’t understand. I mean, we’re pinning the hope of the world on Nick Cutter and James Lester?”

“Well, there’s more to it than that--”

“Of course there is,” Helen said. “Not that anyone can see it because no one is looking at it but you.”

Leek’s mouth opened, but he found himself out of protests. He laughed again. “Even if what you’re saying is true--”

“Would I come back here and risk arrest if it wasn’t?” she interjected pointedly.

“--I still don’t understand what exactly you think I can do,” he said, shrugging his shoulders a little. “I mean, the changes you’re talking about are years down the line.”

Helen’s defenses shifted, and she sat back, relaxing slightly. “Yes, they are,” she said.

“So I really don’t understand--”

She sighed, looking vaguely disappointed. “Come now, Oliver,” she said, voice purring. “If you want to slay a beast, what should you do?”

Leek frowned. “Chop off its head?”

“That assumes you can get close enough to it to do the job,” she said. “Which is a risky proposition.”

“Okay, then, how do you get rid of it?” he asked.

“Kill it before it becomes a beast,” she said, eyes shining now. “We have a unique opportunity to start now, to change the course of the ARC before it becomes a problem.” She hesitated, gaze locked on his, almost imploring now. “But I can’t do it alone.”

Palms sweating, Leek tried to wipe his hands on his pants. His pulse was loud in his ears, and his knees felt jittery. He could still call the police; he could still call Lester. She could be mad -- she sounded mad.

But his entire life was mad. He worked for the public -- maybe she had a point.

Maybe not.

He shook his head, sighing. “I don’t know--”

“Look,” she said, suddenly crossing the distance and sidling next to him on the edge of the chair, “I’m not saying we have to do anything now.”

Leek looked up, eyes skimming over her breasts as she smiled down at him. She bit her lip, lifting a hand to run it gently across his hair. The sensation was surprising and he suppressed a shudder, hoping that the trembling in his shoulders wasn’t visible as she cupped his chin.

“Just think about it,” she said, voice dropping low as she brushed her lips by his ear. Her mouth touched his briefly before she pulled away. “We can talk about it more next time. You’ll see, I’m not the bad guy.”

Leek was still shaking so badly that he couldn’t get up to see her to the door. He heard it close, heard her footsteps disappear down the hall before he dropped his head into his hands and sighed.

He didn’t know what to think; he didn’t know what to do. If Helen was telling the truth...if she was lying...

It was too much.

Leek followed orders; he enacted protocol.

What Helen was talking about...

He closed his eyes, feeling her fingers in his hair, her lips on his.

What Helen was talking about would have to wait until after a cold shower and a good night’s sleep.

-o-

Leek had spent many years perfecting his routines, and the fact was, they were nearly seamless and his execution was quite possibly flawless. He was a perfect cog in a very imperfect world, but he’d always found a certain satisfaction in doing his part -- no matter how small -- impeccably.

But at his desk, filling out forms and organizing key paperwork, it didn’t seem to matter quite as much.

In the plain light of day, Helen’s insistence seemed ridiculous. Even if it were true, there was nothing to be done for it. Maybe she was as crazy as the file suggested. At any rate, she wasn’t truly worth his time. There was no need to report her, even. Now that he knew what she thought, it all seemed entirely laughable.

Yet as the long hours stretched on behind his desk, fielding angry phone calls and tracking down errant scientists, Leek couldn’t quite find the humor.

-o-

Still, Leek persisted.

This was his job, after all. He didn’t have a social life; he had minimal family commitments. His talents were few and far between, and people tended to forget they’d ever met him. His job was all he had.

It was everything.

-o-

“So you’re telling me that you can’t do it?” Lester asked, the incredulity on his face evident as he sat back in his chair and adjusted his designer tie.

“I’m telling you that I need more cooperation from the field team,” Leek explained, as patiently as possible. He’d made this request before; in person, in writing, multiple times. “They seem to think that the forms are interchangeable--”

Lester snorted. “You’re telling me that we’re going to lose funding because they’re not using the proper form?”

Leek took a breath and regained his calm. “I’m telling you that Home Office has serious concerns--”

Lester waved his hand in the air. “That’s why I hired you. If you can’t even do your job, I don’t see why you’re here at all.”

Mouth open, Leek’s words fell short. He wanted to explain that it was just a question of circulation, of better sorting the forms so the team knew which one to take. He wanted to point out that his proposal to streamline the process had been sitting on Lester’s desk for nearly a month now and it seemed as if the other man hadn’t even bother to read it.

But suddenly, there didn’t seem to be much point.

He closed his mouth, pressing his lips together in a smile so forced that it hurt. “I’ll see what I can do.”

Lester rolled his eyes. “Yes,” he muttered. “Please do something to make me remember why I bother keeping you around.”

-o-

When Helen showed up outside his flat a week later, Leek wasn’t even surprised. Instead, the stress of the day, which was clenched like a knot in his chest, started to unfurl. When she smiled, he found himself smiling back.

“Looks like you could use some company,” she said.

Unlocking his door, he held it open for her. “You have no idea.”

-o-

This time, she let him make dinner, which suited Leek just fine. He was actually a half-decent chef, if he was honest, and he rarely had the chance to cook for more than one. As the paella sizzled, Helen sat at his breakfast bar and watched him.

“You are certainly full of surprises,” she mused.

He glanced back. “That is something coming from you,” he said. “You know, you are the ARC’s most wanted and I don’t think they have any idea what you’re up to. Not even in the slightest.”

Helen smirked at the thought. “Funny thing is, they just never said please.”

Leek rolled his eyes, stirring the food in the skillet. “Somehow I doubt that,” he said.

“You doubt me?” Helen asked with feigned hurt.

He looked back at her, shaking his head. “You told me last time that you suspected the ARC was responsible for the downfall of civilization,” he said. “I get the sense that whatever your plans are, it doesn’t involve helping your husband or Lester.”

“I am completely in this for Nick,” Helen replied quickly. “And Lester, too, if he wanted to actually help.”

Leek added a bit of oil, making a face. “Help with what, though?” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it since the last time you were here, and even if you’re right about the ARC, what exactly do you think we can do to stop it?”

She moved closer, idling by the stove as she studied him. “You’ve been thinking,” she said. She reached out, touching his arm. “I like that.”

Leek found himself blushing. “Well, you did say that I was working for the entity that will destroy mankind,” he said, mixing the skillet again. “That sort of settles on one’s mind.”

Her smile widened. “I knew I didn’t make a mistake choosing you.”

Heart skipping a beat, Leek fumbled with his cooking spoon, hoping his complete surprise was not as painfully obvious as it felt.

If Helen noticed, though, it merely encouraged her. She moved closer, moving her hand up his arm and trailing it down his back as he stayed purposefully stiff at the stove. “We can discuss some of my ideas over dinner.”

Clearing his throat, Leek stirred the rice obsessively, plastering a stupid smile across his face. “About the ARC?”

“Yes,” Helen said, then her eyes glinted seductively. “Among other things.”

-o-

Helen ate ravenously, but Leek found himself lacking something of an appetite. He ate tentative bites while he listened to Helen talk, trying to put together her suggestions into an understandable context.

“You basically want to use the ARC’s blind spots,” he concluded.

She took a long drink of her wine. “It’s easy enough,” she said. “You know better than anyone that the ARC is rampant with them.”

That was an understatement. As a project with no precedent, the ARC was a haphazard operation, and no one was entirely sure what policies impacted each employee. There were too many redundancies, and too many operations patched over with bureaucratic fixes that didn’t actually make any sense. Details were easily lost in the ARC because communication had a tendency to break down on nearly every level.

“But why?” he asked finally.

She put her glass down, looking somewhat pleased by the question. “Right now, it’s a matter of access and control,” she said. “I know about the ARC in the future, but I don’t have any insight into their real time decision making process. We have to have a way to track the ARC’s major decisions.”

“We don’t even know what we’re looking for, though,” Leek said.

She took another bite. “Speak for yourself,” she told him, lips twitching upward. “And even so, what the ARC lacks is purposeful oversight. If I have access to their files, I can understand what they’re trying to do -- and with my knowledge of the future, we should be able to steer them in the right direction when we need to.”

He sighed, putting down his fork. “Steer them how? I’m sorry, I just don’t understand what exactly you hope to gain--”

Before he could finish, Helen reached across the table, putting a hand on his and looking at him. “I know this is a lot,” she said. “And you have every reason to be concerned. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing myself all the time, but I know I have to try.”

Leek gritted his teeth, breathing heavily out his nose, trying to calm himself.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do this alone,” she admitted, squeezing his hand firmly. “But together I’m sure we can come up with something.”

-o-

When Helen left a few hours later, Leek still had more questions than answers. But he was starting to accept for the first time just how desperate he was to learn more.

-o-

The morning was harsh, however, and when Leek settled down behind his desk, he sighed. The work was still the same -- his piles of paperwork never seemed to change. As little as he was noticed, there was no doubt that his pencil pushing was an indispensable part of the ARC.

Who else would ensure that documentation was in order? Who else would create triplicates of requisition forms to keep the Special Forces unit well armed? Who else would know which government agency to apply for to keep the labs properly funded?

More than that, who else would bother?

And they did important things, even if they were imperfect. Containing creatures; protecting the public; that was what it was about. The future was something that was impossible to predict.

He opened a file and scanned it, noting the key information. It might look like nonsense to someone else, but Leek knew how important it was.

Helen knew how important it was.

But Helen didn’t work for the ARC. There was no evidence that she was being actually subversive -- she just wanted information, and Leek couldn’t fault her. If she’d seen the future, then maybe she had cause.

Still, this was Leek’s job. Without him, things would fall apart. He had responsibilities, and no matter what Helen said, Leek kept his commitments.

He jotted the necessary information on the paperwork and closed the file, placing it neatly in his out bin.

Leek just had to do his job. He’d worked hard to get here. It was what mattered, Helen Cutter notwithstanding.

It was really all he had.

-o-

“No.”

Leek let out a breath and worked to retain his composure. “I know it’s not a suggestion you’re fond of--”

Nick snorted. “It’s not that I’m not fond of it,” he snapped. “It’s stupid.”

“I’m just saying if we employ a more systematic approach and let the Special Forces--”

“--walk in blindly to get ripped to shreds?” Nick asked. “No, my team goes in first.”

Behind Nick, Abby and Connor exchanged glances. Hart was already armed and expectant.

Pursing his lips, Leek found himself insisting. “It goes against all safety protocol--”

“Then change your damn protocol,” Nick said curtly, brushing by Leek. Abby and Connor followed, Hart right behind them. As he opened the door, Nick looked back. “Because I’m doing this the way it needs to be done, whether you like it or not.”

“Professor Cutter,” Leek called after him, moving forward as Nick slammed the door. “Please, Professor, if we could just--”

The engine started, and Nick didn’t even look at him as he put it into gear, Connor waving with a stupid grin from the backseat as they sped off.

-o-


Leek started the irregularity report before the team even got back. They had successfully caught the predator but managed to destroy the interior of a furniture store in the process. Hart’s skill with a rifle and Nick’s intuition had saved their lives, but the mess would cost the government immeasurably to cover. More than that, the thing -- a kentrosaurus, Leek knew now -- had managed to use its spiky tail to injure both Abby and Connor.

Form in hand, Leek met Nick in the infirmary. Abby was stone-faced as one of the doctors stitched her arm. Connor was looking at his bloody leg in fascination. “Do you reckon it’ll scar?” he asked.

“A close call,” Leek observed.

Nick glared at him. “Your protocol wouldn’t have helped.”

“Actually,” Leek said. “Protocol dictates that Special Forces follow your lead, working together to maximize effectiveness and minimize risk.”

Nick frowned. “Since when?”

“Since I had it changed based on your excessive feedback,” Leek explained.

“Why wasn’t I told?”

“The memo was in your mailbox,” Leek told him. He held up the report. “Now please sign and date the appropriate places.”

Glowering, Nick took the page. “You can’t create protocols to deal with creatures.”

Leek smiled. “I can create protocols to deal with everything,” he said. “The only rational response to chaos is order. Remember that next time your team is almost killed in the field.”

-o-

It felt good, being right. It felt good, knowing he had something to offer. When Lester called him in a short time later, he was confident that he could start enacting real change. Safety measures, efficiency standards -- the works.

But when he sat down, Lester looked at him critically. “Would you like to explain to me what you were doing today?”
Lester was never effusive, and even his compliments were sarcastic and furtive. Cautiously, Leek tilted his head. “If you’re referring to my discussion with Professor Cutter--”

Lester took a sharp breath. “I’m referring to your inability to let the experts do their work.”

Leek furrowed his brow. “Cutter was refusing to follow protocols--”

“Which he always does,” Lester pointed out.

“Which is dangerous and inefficient,” Leek said. “The new policies--”

“Are necessary to keep Home Office satisfied,” Lester interrupted. “We create a step-by-step protocol, and we let them think all is well with the world.”

Mouth open, Leek found himself at a loss. “But...the protocol--”

“If the team can’t work with the protocol, then the protocol doesn’t work,” Lester told him strongly. “I don’t particularly like it myself, but Nick Cutter and his band of academic misfits are the only ones who have any actual experience with this kind of thing.”

“That doesn’t mean they’re infallible,” Leek pointed out.

Lester raised his eyebrows. “Oh, so you think you can do better?”

Leek closed his mouth. “I just meant--”

“Because if you’d like to go out in the field with nothing more than a rifle and three idiots for backup, be my guest, and then you can insist on every last bit of protocol your heart desires.”

Leek’s cheeks burned.

“Until then,” Lester continued. “Let Nick Cutter do the job I hired him to do. And you can stay doing the job I hired you to do.”

Leek couldn’t help it, he snorted. “And what exactly is that, sir?”

Lester’s gaze was hard. “To sign reports and do the grunt work so I don’t have to,” he said sharply. “Now, please, that’ll be all.”

For a moment, Leek could only stare.

Lester flitted his hand in the air. “Come now, Leek,” he said. “Don’t make me fire you. I find the hiring process droll.”

Getting up, Leek moved stiffly to the door. He paused, glancing back, but Lester was already buried in his paperwork again, not sparing Leek another look.

Not sparing Leek anything.

Comments

Posted by: reggietate (reggietate)
Posted at: April 26th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC)
oilyollie

This is fascinating! Poor Leek, I actually feel sorry for him (though perhaps I shouldn't *g*). I'm a bit surprised we haven't had more fic set in or starting from the Claudia-less S1.

*runs to part two*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
stephen skeptical

I'm not sure I fully appreciated the depth of a Leek POV when I started this, but he certainly took me by surprise through the course of the fic. When I started this, I set it entirely in S2 but then I realized the timeline needed to be spread out so moving it to the Claudia-less S1 just made sense. I'm glad it worked :)

Thanks!

Posted by: knitekat (knitekat)
Posted at: April 26th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)

I actually feel sorry for Leek - of course, whether that continues depends on what happens ;)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

I'm glad I was able to elicit some sympathy for him! I never imagined I'd say that :)

Thanks!

Posted by: fififolle (fififolle)
Posted at: April 27th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
Primeval - Leek (reggietate)

I am hugely looking forward to reading all of this fic. I love looking at Leek and his motives and this was just a brilliant read so far. Helen makes me shiver, and Lester needs a good punch, LOL! Wonderful stuff.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
stephen hair

I actually can't say I ever thought much about Leek (I pretty much only watched for James Murray) but when I saw the gif, a Leek POV just begged to be written.

Thanks!

Posted by: basched (basched)
Posted at: April 27th, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)
Mecker02


I am quite blown away as to how amazing this is. It's a great insight into Leek's character and you do feel for him, a lot.

To be brutally honest, this is so good, it actually made me doubt my own work. I was actually thinking "Whoa. My stuff doesn't come close to this!"

And I've only read the first part!

This is fantastic. Awesome and all kinds of shiny.

You should be so proud of this.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
stephen goodbye

You totally flatter me! I hardly even know what to say. I was so worried about this fic -- I was writing well outside my comfort zone and I had no idea what I was doing for most of it. So you are very kind :) And I'm so thrilled you liked it so much :)

Thanks!

Posted by: basched (basched)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 09:58 am (UTC)
Mecker02


You deserve it! Knowing that you've written this outside of of your comfort zone is even more impressive! Great stuff! I've read the second chapter already! Fabulous!

Posted by: fredbassett (fredbassett)
Posted at: April 27th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
Leek - misunderstood

Lester comes over as rather punchable in this, which when you study his behavious to Leek, he actually is.

I've liked Leek as a character for ages, and this is a fascinating look at what might have pushed him in Helen's direction.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:25 am (UTC)
stephen goodbye

Yeah, I probably wasn't very nice to Lester, but he can definitely have his moments -- and poor Leek just got the brunt of it.

I'm glad to do Leek's character justice :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Cordelia Delayne (cordeliadelayne)
Posted at: April 28th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
[primeval] james lester

This is great! A really fascinating look at events through Leek's eyes.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

I'm glad you've enjoyed it :)

Thanks!

Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: April 28th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)

I loved the buildup to the disaffection in this.

Lester in S1 was rather a bully, and Leek's desire to just 'get along' and do his job would be a red cape to a bull.

Very very good!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
stephen goodbye

Lester and Leek are just not well paired for a healthy working relationship. And it turns out badly in canon.

Hopefully not so much here :)

Thanks!

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: April 29th, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
James and Cat


*flails*

I love how you show Leek's lot in life and how hard it must be having to put up with Lester!! And the temptation from Helen...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 12:28 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

Putting up with Lester in that manner would be less than fun. And Helen would know how to use that.

Thanks :)

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