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Primeval fic: The Life You Save (May Be Your Own) 5/6

April 24th, 2013 (09:41 pm)
thankful

feeling: thankful

PART ONE
PART TWO
PART THREE
PART FOUR
PART FIVE
EPILOGUE



PART FIVE



In truth, Leek didn’t know if letting out the predators was intentional or not. Helen wanted to force Lester’s hand, which didn’t necessarily suggest that letting predators roam their alternate site would be the smartest move. So such a maneuver could be more accidental.

Or it could just be that other factors were at play that Leek wasn’t privy to. Helen always had plans, and Leek had simply let himself think that she told him those plans in proper time.

Now, standing with Stephen in the suddenly not-so-safe corridors, he wasn’t so sure.

The reasons didn’t matter.

Surviving, however, did.

Unfortunately, actual fieldwork had never been Leek’s area of expertise. Stephen, on the other hand, clearly excelled in such things.

Leek had read the reports, of course. He knew that Stephen was lauded as a sharpshooter and that his usefulness in tracking had saved them from many incursions. But seeing it in person...

Was impressive. Cutter had had grounds to sack Stephen, but Leek was hard pressed to imagine that the team would actually be the same without him.

Not that anything would be the same when this was over.

“How many creatures are there?” Stephen asked, his voice low as they eased along the wall, moving steadily toward the north corridors.

Leek chewed his lip, doing a quick mental count. “Here, probably about ten,” he said, not quite sure what to do with his gun. He held it in his hand, but it was cumbersome and awkward as he kept it firmly away from himself and tried to avoid accidentally aiming it at Stephen. “There are more, but they’re spread out over the city.”

“Is that what caused the creature on the beach?” Stephen asked.

Leek’s cheeks burned in shame. “Helen said they were just a threat,” he reiterated feebly.

Stephen snorted. “Right,” he muttered. “So why did she let out the creatures here?”

“I don’t know,” Leek admitted. “That was never part of the plan, but I can’t imagine it was accidental.”

“Seems nothing she does is accident,” Stephen agreed.

They continued on, turning down one of the longer corridors. “No, she does always seem to be one step ahead,” Leek said. He fell silent, following cautiously after Stephen. “You know I never would have had much chance at stopping her without your help.”

“We haven’t stopped her yet,” Stephen reminded him.

“I know,” Leek said. “But at least this way, there’s hope.”

“Desperation will do that to a man,” Stephen said.

Leek was about to agree. Strangely, he was about to apologize. Not just for his part in this but for not reaching out to Stephen earlier. For writing off Stephen Hart as one of Cutter’s followers without a second thought. For assuming that Stephen’s tenuous place on the team was mostly his own doing. For hating him without even knowing him.

For everything.

But the words never came, because when they rounded the next corner, there was a blur of motion and Stephen was pushing him back. Leek hit the ground hard, gun still in hand as he looked up in shock while Stephen stood face to face with a sabre tooth cat.

-o-

Not for the first time when faced with mortal peril, Leek found himself paralyzed. It would be nice to think he’d become braver after all this time, but as he stared stupidly at the enraged eyes of the predator, he felt more terrified than ever before.

Stephen, on the other hand, didn’t hesitate. He lifted his gun, firing off a shot as the creature lunged. The shot hit the animal somewhere near the shoulder, and it yelped angrily, hitting the ground unceremoniously.

Leek dared to hope that might be it.

The sabre tooth’s eyes gleamed and it rolled its massive shoulders as it found its feet again before charging at Stephen with a newfound ferocity. There was another shot, but it went wide and before Leek could move, the cat was on Stephen, pinning him down with its teeth bared. Beneath its hulking form, Stephen struggled, his face pinched and pale as he tried -- and failed -- to get his gun turned around for one last shot.

The cat roared, and Leek felt the noise reverberate in his chest. This was another moment, he realized. He knew these creatures; he knew that if it went for the kill, Leek would have time to run. He could save himself and never look back.

But he’d still know. He’d still know what he did to ruin the ARC; he’d still know the people he left vulnerable. He’d still know that Stephen had believed him and Leek had returned the favor by doing nothing.

That wasn’t how the moment would go, though. Not this time.

Because Leek was ready. More than that, he was armed.

Trembling, he swallowed hard and lifted the gun, pointing it straight at the sabre tooth’s head. It caught the hint of movement and turned toward him just as Leek fired.

The blast from the gun was loud and the kickback nearly shook the gun out of his arm. He gasped, stumbling back as the creature fell limply forward, a hole in its head from Leek’s gun.

-o-

Leek stared, mouth falling open. “Did I...?”

From the floor, Stephen moaned. “Kill it?” he asked. “Yes.”

The truth of it almost made Leek laugh. It also almost made him cry as he stood there shaking, gun loose in his clammy grip. “I killed it,” he said, mostly to himself. “I killed it.”

“It is a heady feeling,” Stephen agreed. “But, um...a hand?”

Startled, Leek diverted his attention from the bleeding corpse to Stephen, who was half pinned by the dead weight. The reality caught up with him, and he fumbled with the gun, putting the safety back on before uncertainly resting the gun on the ground. Then, he stepped awkwardly over the animal, positioning himself next to Stephen before reaching down to haul the large mass up.

It was unexpectedly heavy, and he oofed, dropping it once before adjusting his stance and lifting with his knees. The strain was still palpable and he grunted while Stephen scooted his way out before the thick fur slipped through his fingers and the corpse hit the ground.

Panting, he looked down at his handiwork. He’d helped catch the creature; now he’d helped kill it. This was his mess and he was going to do his part in cleaning it up -- even against all odds.

Stephen stumbled and instinctively, Leek reached out, half steadying the other man while he found his footing. They stood together for a moment, looking at the predator before tentatively meeting each other’s gaze.

Something had shifted between them. There was understanding now, equality. They were united suddenly -- to the bitterest of ends.

Stephen smiled lightly. Thanks,” he said.

“Considering I helped cage the thing, it was probably the least I could do,” Leek said.

“Still,” Stephen said. “It takes courage. Was that your first time?”

“Yes,” Leek replied, glancing at the unmoving figure again.

“Lucky shot then,” Stephen mused.

“Luck doesn’t tend to run in my favor,” Leek countered.

Stephen shrugged. “First for everything.”

Leek huffed, going over to retrieve his gun. “Let’s hope it’s not the last.”

-o-

The run in with the sabre tooth had been unnerving yet strangely defining. This time, when he and Stephen set out, there was a quiet resolution between them, and when Stephen moved, Leek felt himself moving in tandem. It was a strange sort of thing; an unexpected, yet effective, partnership.

Along the north corridor, Leek slowed them down, nodding to Stephen who began opening the doors methodically. Distantly, Leek could hear another predator -- a raptor, perhaps -- but it was far enough out that it didn’t seem to pose an immediate threat to their current objective.

Which really was the point of all this.

Helen.

This was Helen’s plan; this was Helen’s game. Leek was no longer sure what game that was, but there was only one way to find out.

On the fourth door, Stephen stopped cold in the doorway, posture stiff and eyes locked. Leek swallowed reflexively.

Then, without flinching, Stephen worked his jaw, almost grinding out the single word that said everything: “Helen.”

-o-

He heard her before he saw her. There was a small intake of air before quick footsteps crossed the room, and she collided with Stephen as he stepped in the door. Her arms wrapped around him, her head buried in his shoulder. “Stephen,” she said. “Thank God. I’ve just managed to get away. There are so many of them out there.”

Leek could only watch, stunned and a little impressed. Her entire demeanor had changed to suit the moment, from the way she curved into Stephen to the plaintive vulnerability in her voice. She painted the perfect picture of a damsel in distress, which it became obvious to Leek, was exactly what Stephen had been drawn to from the beginning.

Her touch was possessive; her voice was needy. With Leek, she had been provocative and engaging. Her nuance was superb.

Of course, her deception was also audacious. Every word out of her mouth was a lie.

Stephen was unyielding under her touch, pushing her forcibly away. Surprised, she looked up, eyes going from Stephen before settling on Leek.

The facade fell and her expression hardened. “I see you brought company,” she said, all pretenses gone.

Stephen lifted his chin. “He had quite a story.”

“And you believed him?” she asked. “He’s the traitor. This entire thing was his idea. He’s been working with Lester--”

“Lester is the one who sent me to the beach to stop the predator,” Stephen interrupted.

“To cover his tracks, no doubt,” Helen said.

Leek scoffed. “I’ve implicated myself entirely,” he said. “With what I’ve told Stephen, I’m already going to prison. All I want now is to stop this.”

Helen gestured widely. “Can’t you see what he’s trying to do?”

“I’m trying to stop this,” Leek said. “You said no one would get hurt.”

“And that’s why you’ve been hoarding predators?” she asked indignantly.

“He can barely fire a gun,” Stephen said flatly. “He has a full time job; there’s no way he had time to do all this on his own.”

“And how would I even get ahold of the technology?” Leek asked. “To open and close anomalies? To control the predators?”

“How should I know?” Helen asked.

“If you weren’t part of this, why are you even here?” Leek pushed.

“I’ve been to the future! I know how badly things go!” Helen protested. “I just want to stop things. Stephen, you have to believe me. I would never--”

“Are they really dead?” Stephen broke in, his voice cracking.

Helen stopped, her mouth open. Purposefully, she closed her mouth, the indecision apparent even in her calm gaze. “Why would I lie about that?”

“I don’t know,” Stephen said, his disposition barely held together. “But if Lester’s not the bad guy; if Leek’s here with me; then there’s only one person...”

Helen’s jaw dropped. “You don’t think I killed them, do you?” she asked.

“I hope not,” Stephen said.

Leek’s stomach churned. He hadn’t considered that. Helen was capable of more than he’d imagined, and he’d already been faced with the fact that people would die for her antics. But he’d never thought she could kill people she knew. People she presumed to care about.

“Helen,” Leek said. “There’s only one way out of here. To get there, you need to tell us the truth.”

Stephen stepped closer to him, creating a resolved front.

Helen’s eyes flicked between them, her body tense.

Leek didn’t waver. He kept his gaze steady as he stared her down, untempted and unmoved for the first time since he’d met her in the bar all those months ago. This was it, he told himself. This was the moment. “Tell us,” he ordered. “Now.”

-o-

Helen was a liar and a seductress, but she wasn’t stupid. With no way out, she told them the truth.

Or as much truth as she thought she could get away with.

It was a short story, but worse than Leek had imagined. When Leek had failed to do his part, she’d automated most of the events, relying on clones more often than not. Really, it struck Leek how he’d been slated to be nothing but the face of the operation -- a rather convenient scapegoat. The predator on the beach had been released by a clone; the one at the ARC had been programmed on a timer. What Leek had assumed was a façade was an actual bomb, used to distract and preoccupy the team at the ARC. She’d used Caroline to kidnap Rex, moving him to the facility in order to lure the team to the remote site, locking them in before setting the predators loose in the bunker, making them fit hostages to leverage with Lester.

The problem was, it had gone wrong.

It seemed so obvious now: something inevitably had to go wrong. It probably would have gone wrong with or without Leek, and he’d been foolish to ever think otherwise. If he’d gone along with her, he’d have been her fall man.

“I never meant for it to get this out of control,” she explained. “I had all the predators programmed not to attack.”

It was a subtle shift, and he had to give her credit. With enough truth, the lie seemed logical and natural.

But even Stephen snorted. “I was on that beach,” he said. “I caught the predator there. It was looking to kill.”

Helen hesitated. “I know,” she said. “The problem is that Connor and the team released a virus into the computer system here. It disrupted my control over the predators.”

Leek found himself chuckling. “So you brought captives here and are shocked that they decided to fight back?” he asked.

“But they are alive,” Stephen clarified.

“Last I knew,” Helen said. “With the predators loose, we all scattered, and that was when I called for help.”

“Stephen was your backup plan,” Leek concluded.

Helen balked. “Stephen’s the only one I could trust,” she snapped. Then she looked at the younger man. “I just need more time to plan this better. With your help, I’m sure I can make it work.”

Stephen’s brow furrowed, and he shook his head. “You lied to me,” he said. “About everything.

“Not about everything,” she said. She moved forward, lifting her hand and touching the side of Stephen’s face. “I just didn’t want you to feel conflicted. Some things had to be done for the greater good, and I didn’t want that burden to be weighing on you like it has been on me.”

This time, Leek laughed outright. “You can’t be serious!” he said. He looked to Stephen. “You see what she’s doing, don’t you?”

Helen didn’t moved, running her fingers through his hair. “He’s a bitter man who sold himself out,” she said. “He was never in this for the right reasons, which is why this went so badly.”

“Oh, come on!” Leek said.

Helen inched closer to Stephen, and Leek was suddenly aware that this was a moment. But not his.

Stephen’s.

You have to decide.

Stephen’s gaze lingered, passing over Helen’s face carefully. There was a hint of longing in his eyes, and when he took a small breath, Leek found himself worried.

I’ve decided wrong more often than not.

“I don’t even know what to say to you,” Stephen said finally, his voice low and his gaze dangerous as he looked at her. “You better hope they’re still alive, because, so help me God, if they’re not, I will make you pay.”

Helen stood unmoving, her eyes widening as Stephen stepped away. Stephen glanced toward Leek, jerking his head toward the door and Leek felt his hopes surge once more.

“Wait,” Helen said as they started out. “You can’t just leave me here.”

“We’ll be back when the team is safe and the facility is secure,” Stephen told her.

“As you recall, all the doors have manual locking mechanisms which can be activated from the outside,” Leek reminded her. He smiled thoughtfully. “We did that to control the predators. Ironic, don’t you think?”

Helen glared at them, her jaw rigid. “You need me to stop them,” she said.

“I like our chances without you,” Leek said with a smirk as he stepped out the door.

“Even if I didn’t,” Stephen said, “some things are worth doing the hard way.”

-o-

Stephen closed the door, and Leek moved to lock it. It was tedious by hand, but he nodded in satisfaction when it was done.

“You sure it will hold?” Stephen asked.

“We designed them to lock from the inside or the outside,” he said. “But once locked in one direction, it can’t be unlocked the other way. It was a security feature we liked about this building.”

“Nice,” Stephen observed, testing the handle one more time before he seemed satisfied. “You know, we’re lucky you’re here.”

Leek grunted. “If it weren’t for me, none of this would have happened.”

“Do you really think Helen wouldn’t have found another way?” Stephen asked. He shook his head. “No, you’ve made all the difference.”

“Well, we haven’t stopped it yet,” Leek reminded him.

As if on cue, there was a distant scuffle. Stephen’s gaze darkened as he looked down the corridor. “What’s the plan?”

“Well, if we make it to the main hub, we should have access to the security equipment,” Leek said. “If we can regain control, we might be able to tell the predators what to do again.”

“That’d make life easier,” Stephen agreed.

“At the very least, with security cameras, we should have a better idea what we’re dealing with,” Leek said.

“That’s a plan I can support,” Stephen said.

“Good,” Leek said, stepping forward to take the lead. “Now let’s move.”

-o-

They moved fast, but carefully, and Leek guided them through the heart of the facility. It was a winding path, but his countless hours were worth something since he knew the quickest route. They’d made it nearly halfway, when Stephen came to a dead halt.

Leek’s heart clenched, and he lifted his gun, fearing the worst, but when he turned, he found himself looking at Cutter.

He had to blink to make sure he wasn’t imagining things, but the brooding, glaring man was very real.

And very unhappy, by the looks of things.

He was decidedly a bit worse for wear. He had a cut on his forehead, and his clothes were dirty and a little torn. His blue eyes were narrowed and wary.

“So you were in on all this, too,” Cutter said, almost spitting the words.

“I’ve never been here before in my life,” Stephen replied.

“Oh, so it’s just a coincidence that you showed up after Helen tried to kidnap us here,” Cutter said bitingly

“I only saw Helen a handful of times,” Stephen said. “She wanted my help--”

“To kill us all?” Cutter asked, throwing his arms wide. “You do know what she’s been doing here, don’t you? What she did to the ARC?”

Leek flinched.

Stephen’s face went blank. “What did she do?”

Cutter scoffed. “You want me to think that you didn’t know that she released a Future Predator there? That most of the staff there have been killed?”

Leek felt sick, his stomach flipping and his hands going numb. The staff -- they were innocent. They had names and families and lives -- they had never deserved to die. They hadn’t deserved anything.

Stephen breathed heavily. “If I had known--”

“You would have said something?” Cutter asked. “Like you told me about Helen?”

The blood drained from Stephen’s face, and Leek couldn’t take it anymore. “He had no idea,” he interjected, stepping slightly in front of Stephen. “This was Helen’s plan; she lied to Stephen about everything.”

Cutter seemed to look at him for the first time. “There’s no way she did all this on her own.”

“Of course not,” Leek agreed. “She had me.”

Cutter stared for a moment before his face contorted. “You?”

Leek rolled his eyes. “Yes,” he said with more than a twinge of exasperation. “Believe it or not, I am capable of such things.”

“I’m not sure I’d be bragging about that,” Stephen whispered at him.

Leek sighed. “Well, it’s about time we just got it all out in the open, isn’t it?” he said. “Really, you two have been hiding so many things from each other that it made everything Helen had planned so much easier. If the pair of you had just stopped and talked, none of this would have got this far.”

“So it’s our fault?” Cutter asked incredulously.

“For this?” Leek asked, nodding around. “No, that’s mine, and I’m doing what I can to correct it. But for the state of things between you two, for the breakdown of your team -- that’s on the two of you.”

Stephen shifted uncomfortably, and Cutter was still glowering. “He lied to me,” the professor said scathingly. “He chose Helen.

“And how much did you know?” Stephen asked in accusation. “If I’d had any idea just how much you suspected--”

“Oh, then you would have told me that you’d been sleeping with my wife?” Cutter asked.

Stephen flushed deeply. “It wasn’t like that--”

“From where I’m sat--”

Leek sighed again. “From where you’re sat, the ARC is still in danger and there are still lives on the line,” he said emphatically. “Including our own. You can go back to hating each other later, but right now, we really should fix the problem.”

To that, Stephen said nothing. Across from them, in the dimness, Cutter stood stiffly. He worked his jaw, bringing his lips together for a long moment before he nodded slightly. “How?”

Tension unfurled in Leek’s chest. “Well, first we need to work out how many creatures are loose.”

“All of them,” Cutter replied curtly.

“Well, one less now,” Stephen said quietly. He looked to Cutter. “We killed a sabre tooth on our way in.”

Leek frowned thoughtfully. “Well, we could get back to the main command post--”

“It won’t do any good,” Cutter said. “The entire system is down. Connor already tried to get it back up.”

“No cameras?” Leek asked.

“All centralized control has been compromised,” Cutter confirmed. “What about Helen?”

“She’s contained,” Stephen reported curtly. Then he hesitated. “Abby and Connor?”

“Should be out by now, along with Jenny,” Cutter said. “I stayed to try to shut things down.”

Leek sighed, trying his best to think. He wasn’t one for planning on the go; he was one who followed orders, who did the grunt work. This wasn’t his place, this wasn’t his thing.

But if he didn’t do it, who would? Who could?

He nodded. “We need to get all the animals back in the cage room,” he declared.

Cutter snorted. “That sounds easier said than done.”

“We could slowly flush them that way,” Stephen suggested. “We have some firepower.”

“It’d take too long,” Cutter argued. “It’d be suicide.”

Leek shook his head. “There’s another way.”

Cutter’s argument fell silent, and he looked at Leek with some interest. “What way?”

“The feeding mechanism,” he said, the idea solidifying with a rush of giddy energy. “It can be deployed manually, and the animals are trained to respond to it. They’ll all come when it’s released. They’ll hear the sound.”

“You’re sure about that?” Cutter asked. “These animals are wild--”

“And won’t refuse a meal,” Leek said with newfound certainty. “We’ve been training them for months. Once we release the food, we can manually lock the cage room.”

“But won’t they still be able to get out?” Stephen asked.

“No,” Leek said. “We designed the cage room to have one way out. There are other facilities behind there, but there’s no way to exit the facility except through the main door. We always intended it to be a lockdown point in case of emergency.”

“You mean in case you released the wild and dangerous predators to attack people and had second thoughts?” Cutter asked.

Leek felt his cheeks redden. “It was a safety measure,” he said. “They were never supposed to get out at all.”

“Good job with that,” Cutter said.

“I think it’ll work,” Stephen announced, turning toward Leek. “Do you think you can get us to the cage room?”

Leek offered a small smile. “Do you think you can cover us while we run?”

Stephen grinned back. “That’s the one thing I’m good at,” he said.

“Wait,” Cutter protested. “I’m not sure--”

Leek rolled his eyes. “Then stay here and be uncertain,” he said plainly as he moved past Cutter, Stephen not even a step behind. “But if you want to help, feel free to join us.”

-o-

They made good time. Cutter fell in line before they left the room, and despite a few wayward howls in the distance, there was no further impediment on their path. Cutter informed them that the rest of the team should be safe on the outside, and that Lester should have been able to send reinforcements.

By all accounts, it was almost over.

At the cage room, Leek barely hesitated, charging in with Stephen close behind. “Shouldn’t we sweep it first?” Stephen asked.

Leek shook his head, moving to the wall where the controls were. “This is where we’ve kept them for months now,” he said, starting to punch the buttons. “I think they’re probably more than ready to be out of here. This is the last place they’d turn voluntarily.”

He pressed the button, and the electronic alarm echoed through the facility like a beacon. Stephen and Cutter looked up, curious and nervous.

“That’s it?” Cutter asked.

Leek grinned. “That’s it,” he said, already starting back toward the door. “It shouldn’t take them long to funnel back through. We’ll just want to wait a few moments.”

Stephen shifted uncomfortably. “Aren’t we sort of setting ourselves up to be confused with food?”

Leek chuffed. “No doubt,” he said. “But we need to wait to lock the door to make sure they all have a chance to move back this way.”

“And how will we know that?” Cutter asked.

“Well, it’s hard to say, but I know these creatures. They should all be back on this side of the facility within three minutes,” he said, shrugging a little. He nodded to the far end of the room. “Our exit is over there.” He nodded toward a room on the opposite end. “That’s where the food is.”

As if on cue, a pair of predators appeared, immediately going to work on the dispensed items. When another few arrived, Leek started moving slowly back along the wall. One of the slower predators trundled by them through the main door, and by the time they approached the exit, Leek had accounted for nearly a dozen predators.

“Is that it?” Cutter asked, his voice low as another sabre tooth skittered through the exit.

Leek chewed his lip, edging back. “With the one we killed, I think so.”

“We might want more than a guess,” Stephen whispered.

Leek did another count, trying to place all the creatures, remembering the way each one had looked at him during his time here. He nodded. “Let’s go.”

He didn’t need to say it twice. This time Cutter almost took the lead as they turned and ran the rest of the distance. When the door was within reach, Leek dared to hope this might be it. This might be everything. It could be over.

Over.

He was so set on his destination, that he didn’t see the blur of movement. He barely had time to hear the feral snarl resonate across the empty room as a raptor came hurtling toward them.

Because it was feeding time, and with so many predators feeding at once and no controls in place, there was bound to be hoarding. Someone was going to be left in want.

Someone would be looking for a separate meal.

Someone would be looking for them.

Shocked, he didn’t even have time to be scared as Stephen pushed him back, raising his gun to bear while Leek and Cutter stumbled backward toward the door. Stephen got off a shot but it went wide, and the raptor lunged, grabbing hold of Stephen’s boot right as Leek reached the threshold.

Stephen yelped, and Cutter cried out. “Stephen!” he said, and Leek barely had time to wrap his arms around the younger man as the raptor tried to pull him into the middle of the room.

The force nearly toppled him, and he felt Cutter’s arm pull across his chest, yanking them all backward. They had a moment of backward momentum before the raptor lashed out again, adjusting its grip on Stephen’s boot while the man kicked.

“The gun!” Stephen yelled, his voice cutting off with a curse as he grappled uselessly for his own weapon. “The gun!”

It took a long second to realize Stephen was talking to him; it took another second before he remembered he was armed.

His balance teetered, but Cutter wormed around, bypassing Leek to grab onto Stephen while Leek fumbled to bring his gun to bear. It was happening fast now, and he struggled to focus on the writhing figures on the floor. He’d managed to hit the sabre tooth, but that had been dumb luck and desperation. At point blank range, Leek had had nothing to lose.

This time, Cutter and Stephen were both in his line of fire. If Leek was off....

He couldn’t think about it.

“Shoot!” Cutter yelled. “For the love of God, man--”

Leek’s gaze narrowed; his hand steadied.

He fired.

The shot went wide, pinging off the ground and ricocheting into one of the panels by the door.

Cutter cursed and Stephen cried out as the raptor yanked and almost ripped Stephen free.

He swallowed. There was no time for failure. No room to doubt.

He fired again.

And this time the raptor fell away, scampering off with a lopsided gait.

“Come on,” Leek said, hurriedly, holding the door open while Cutter helped Stephen to his feet. “Come on, come on, come on.”

Cutter didn’t need the reminder, half-dragging Stephen across the threshold. When they were clear, Leek scurried after them, pulling the door shut securely behind him.

It was over, he thought as he closed his eyes, back against the door. He laughed, a choked and strangled sound of relief as he opened his eyes and looked at Cutter and Stephen. Alive, if worse for wear. But alive.

It was finally going to be over.

-o-

Cutter was sighing, slumping against the wall. Stephen stood taut and stiff, his own gun out now as if he couldn’t believe it was over. Leek found himself grinning, pushing the door shut and waiting for it to latch.

“So where is Helen?” Cutter asked. “She disappeared after the creatures went loose.”

“We’ve got her secured,” Stephen said. “Though knowing her, we’ll want to double back.”

“And you think you’re the best person for that job?” Cutter asked.

“If you want it, it’s yours,” Stephen said.

Leek frowned, pushing the door again. He shook his head. “Shut up, you two.”

“I’ve shut up long enough,” Cutter snapped. “We may have stopped things but there’s still a lot we need to deal with.”

“You’ve already sacked me, Cutter,” Stephen said. “What else do you want?”

“How about some answers--”

“How about you all shut up,” Leek said, almost yelling now. Because he pushed the door and he tried the handle and...nothing.

Cutter made a face. “I thought you said that was it.”

“Well, it should be,” Leek said, and he turned around as the realization solidified in his gut, heavy and cold.

“Should be?” Stephen asked dubiously.

Leek swallowed. “It won’t lock,” he said. “It won’t even latch. The remote mechanism -- it must have been damaged when we scuffled with the raptor.”

Cutter shook his head. “Wait, you’re saying--”

Stephen’s face fell. “You mean--”

“I mean,” Leek said. “It won’t lock.”

“So they’re just going to get out?” Cutter asked indignantly.

Stephen lifted his gun, shaking his head. “We can’t take that risk.”

Leek tried to breathe, but found that the air wouldn’t move through his lungs. “There’s still one other way,” he said, almost regretting it the instant he said it.

“Great,” Cutter said. “Which is?”

“All the doors are designed to lock from either direction,” Leek explained. “There’s a manual override. We can’t latch it from this direction...” He glanced back toward the porthole on the door. “But we can lock it from inside.

Cutter stared; Stephen gaped. And then the realization settled over each of them in turn.

“But if we go in, we’re not coming back out,” Stephen realized, the hush in his voice a mix of terror and shock.

“Suicide,” Cutter said with a small snort of indignation. “After everything, it comes down to suicide?”

“If there was another way,” Leek said, feeling helpless.

But there wasn’t. There was no other option. There was just a door and just a lock, the last safety net Leek put in place to protect everything. He’d made this compound; he’d added these measures to save his own life.

And now they would guarantee the loss of just that.

Cutter laughed, short and bitter. “It’s just on the other side?” he asked.

Leek cocked his head. “Yes, but--”

Cutter shrugged. “I’ll go.”

Stephen’s face contorted. “You’ll never make it out.”

“That’s the suicide angle,” Cutter said and he turned toward Stephen, clapping him on the arm. “Just remember, Lester’s not the enemy. And you can’t trust Helen. The team will need you now.”

Stephen’s face went dangerously blank, and Leek recognized the moment for what it was.

One moment.

It changed everything.

When it all came down to it, Cutter was still willing to die for Stephen. All the lapses in trust, all the lies, all the resentment -- when things mattered, their friendship still stood for what it was. Not perfect, but committed. Cutter could no more watch Stephen die than Stephen could watch Cutter die.

Which was why Leek knew what Stephen was going to do, even when Cutter didn’t. The punch blindsided Cutter, knocking him clean off his feet, sending him on his back on the hard cement.

Cutter didn’t see the punch.

Stephen didn’t see Leek slipping away from both of them and right through the threshold once again.

-o-

One moment changed everything.

When Leek made his line in the sand, he knew the consequences. He knew.

Locked in a room with predators, he knew too well.

There were regrets, of course. There were things he’d take back. But he’d made his choices, and he’d live with them.

Rather, he’d die with them.

Numbly, he moved to the lock, his fingers fumbling with the mechanism. He’d just started to move it when the door swung open. Before Leek could protest, it was slammed shut again, and Stephen was by his side.

“Well, don’t just stand there,” Stephen said, nodding toward the door. “Lock it before Cutter wakes up or before one of the predators decides it wants out.”

Leek shook his head. “This is my mess,” he said.

“I’m a part of this,” Stephen said.

“There’s no point in you dying for my mistakes,” Leek told him, feeling his heart start to race.

Stephen smirked, lifting his gun up a bit. “There’s no point in any of us dying,” he said. “You still have yours?”

Leek stared, but reached down, finding the gun in his pocket that he’d almost forgotten about.

“Now lock the door,” Stephen ordered. “And let’s see how this really ends.”

Leek didn’t need any further invitation as he manipulated the mechanism and the lock slid firmly and irrevocably into place.

-o-

Cutter was at the door mere seconds later, but it was too late. The moment had passed, and Cutter found himself on the other side -- for better or for worse. It clearly pained Stephen to see the other man there, but Leek was too busy watching the predators slowly start to circle.

Instinctively, he stepped back, moving toward the center of the room. Stephen followed him, and they walked back to back, perfectly in tandem.

“Do you feel lucky yet?” Stephen asked under his breath.

One of the creatures tittered; another seemed to vibrate with anticipation.

Leek chuckled mirthlessly. “I’ve never been one for luck,” he reminded Stephen.

“Funny,” Stephen said, stepping so close to Leek they were nearly touching. “Me neither.”

“Is that meant to be reassuring?” Leek asked, his gun drifting between a Future Predator and a sabre tooth.

“If it were up to luck, we’d both be dead,” Stephen said. “So, maybe.”

Leek ground his teeth together. “Do you have a plan?”

“Sure,” Stephen said. “Don’t miss.”

Then a predator lunged and all hell broke loose.

-o-

Leek had joined the ARC as a civil servant. He’d never started with delusions of grandeur, and he’d never craved the action of the field. He’d been happy in his office with his forms and his paperwork. He’d been good at that, and there were few things more satisfying in life than a job well done.

He’d never been the type to fancy himself an action hero.

Now, gun in hand while predators charged and attacked, he was even less inclined. Not that he had any choice in the matter. He had to shoot -- and keep shooting -- or run the risk of being killed. And Leek didn’t fancy himself an action hero, but he certainly didn’t want to be dead.

He stayed back to back with Stephen as long as possible, an unconscious give and take between them. The predators circled first, but when the first one lashed out, the others weren’t far behind.

Stephen shot the first three dead on, straight kills. The fourth charged simultaneously with the fifth, and Stephen’s shot went wide and Leek fumbled to bring his gun up. His shot winged the Future Predator, which hissed and leaped over him. Twisting, he tried to follow up, plainly missing the raptor as it charged him.

Its claws cut at him, and he cried out, falling to the floor and fearing the worst. There was a loud retort near his ear and the raptor fell away, its head gone. Startled, Leek looked up at Stephen, who spared just a moment to give him an affirming nod.

That was when the Future Predator lunged. Lurching up, Leek half-tackled Stephen, barely managing the shot right as the predator came close, its vicious teeth bared to strike. It was a direct hit to the chest, and it recoiled, its body skidding across the floor while its gangly limbs flailed.

Blood rushing in his ears, Leek turned his attention to a limping sabre tooth as it growled at him, and this time bringing his gun up was more natural and fluid.

But when he pulled the trigger, the chamber clicked on empty.

Leek’s stomach dropped.

He was out of ammunition.

After all this, he was out of bullets.

He’d fought and he’d survived and he’d risked everything--

And he didn’t have a bloody bullet left to save his measly and pathetic life.

One moment.

It changed everything.

Leek didn’t want to die, but if this was the price -- if this was the penance--

One moment.

He’d accept it; it wasn’t entirely unjust.

One moment.

Leek closed his eyes.

-o-

He felt the massive teeth rip into his skin, tearing forcibly at the flesh on his leg. Resolve aside, the pain was instant and intense, and he screamed.

The cat held him down with one meaty paw, even as Leek writhed in agony. His fingers fisted, grasping in futility at the ground as he squeezed tears out his eyes and the mewl of pain was choked off in his throat and he waited for the end.

It didn’t come.

Instead, there was a gunshot and the pressure vanished. There was another gunshot and a curse before someone screamed.

Stephen.

Leek opened his eyes.

At first, he was blindsided by the blood. It coated his leg, pooling on the floor. But there was another scream, and Leek looked up in horror to see one of the Future Predators, wounded but standing, curled over Stephen.

The sharpshooter was on his back, his gun knocked free from his outstretched hand. There was blood coating his front, and it was spread in a macabre displayed, dripping from the fangs of the predator while it flayed Stephen’s chest open, one piece of flesh at a time.

Breath caught in his throat, Leek surveyed the room. The other predators were spread across the floor, some still twitching, others blown apart. Some of the non-lethal creatures were still feeding in the food bay, and one of the raptors seemed to be trying to get on its foot even though one of its legs was gone.

Stephen cried out again, trying to surge upward. The Future Predator snarled, but couldn’t stop Stephen’s desperate lunge. He bucked the predator free, stumbling to his feet--

Right as the predator recovered and mostly tackled Stephen to the ground. The impact was jarring, and Stephen went limp on impact, and Leek watched in horror as the predator neatly turned Stephen on his back again and seemed to go back to work.

Leek’s gun was useless. He could run for it; with one predator, he might have a chance until backup arrived.

Or he could go for Stephen’s gun. It was still there, just behind the predator now. There was no telling if it was loaded or if Leek could get it without being seen.

But if he did nothing, Stephen would die.

You have to decide. What do you
really want.

One moment.

Even if it was his last.

Leek lunged for the gun.

His leg slowed him down, but the desperate pitch still found purchase. His fingers locked around the gun right as the Future Predator looked up, surprise on his gnarled features before its eyes narrowed and its posture shifted.

Frantic, Leek hoisted the gun, awkwardly trying to get it in position.

Pushing off Stephen’s prone form, the predator jumped, mouth open in a howl.

Leek fired.

The predator fell, lifeless on the ground. It twitched once, but didn’t move.

The gun slipped from Leek’s fingers and he collapsed back. His head spun and everything went dim until he found himself on his back, staring at the ceiling.

It was over now. The predators were dead or injured; the facility was compromised. Helen was contained. Lester would know what to do; he’d take it seriously now. Cutter and the team would clean up. All these months, all this work; Leek never thought he’d end up here.

As the darkness surrounded him, he felt strangely relieved. The pain ebbed; the noise faded. He could make no more mistakes this way; no one else would get hurt on account of him.

It was finally over.

-o-

What happened next, Leek wasn’t really sure. He was vaguely aware at times. First, when Special Forces stormed the room, next when Nick Cutter’s pinched face hovered over him, not speaking a word. He remembered snatches from the hospital, worried faces of doctors and nurses as they asked questions and probed. Then his leg burned and people started yelling and Leek let it all slip away.

The dark was foggy, though, and somehow he knew he was not so lucky as to find a definitive end. It wasn’t that Leek had a death wish, but all things considered, an inauspicious exit seemed like it would be a mite easier.

Which was probably why Leek survived.

He woke up in an ICU bed, being monitored and tended to. The doctors asked him questions that Leek didn’t bother to answer, merely mumbling and nodding until his morphine drip was turned up and he drifted off to sleep.

Between the patches of wakefulness, he was transferred here and there. He was somewhat cognizant of the work done to his leg -- the bandage was bulky and when they changed it, the air made everything tingle rather unpleasantly -- and nurses kept fussing, asking him to wiggle his toes and bend his knees, and it didn’t feel quite normal by any means but since he’d somewhat planned on dying, thinking about a bum leg just didn’t actually compute.

He had no visitors, which wasn’t so surprising. His mother was mostly a recluse in northern England, and she’d be too annoyed that Leek had inconvenienced her by being injured to actually come and visit. Assuming that anyone had even told her.

He half suspected that he was under some kind of guard, though he could find no evidence for that. But considering that he was a confessed traitor, it would seem appropriate, and every time he awoke, he expected to see an armed guard by his side, cuffing him and reminding him that even those accused with treason still technically had rights.

From time to time, he tried to ask about Stephen, but the nurses merely said that they could not disclose that information, and Leek left well enough alone. The idea that the other man could be dead was disconcerting, but he had no control over it.

Leek had no control over anything, and he was done trying to change that. He was done with everything.

Then, one day, Lester was there.

Leek had been transferred out of the ICU just that morning, and they’d put him on an intense therapy schedule. His leg still looked red and ruined, but he could bear his weight a little, and the doctor said things looked promising.

Leek hadn’t exactly believed him.

He believed him less when he saw Lester, prim and proper, seated in the chair by his bedside, flipping through a magazine.

It was a disconcerting image, to say the least. One that Leek could only think boded poorly for him.

Lester sighed, looking up at Leek in disgust. “They don’t even keep these up to date,” he muttered. He tossed it aside, wiping his fingers on his pants. “I feel like I may have just contracted some horrible disease.”

Leek found that he could only stare.

Lester collected a breath and forced a smile. “So, they tell me you’re doing better.”

There were no words. No his boss was making small talk. After Leek had helped sabotage the ARC and was not so indirectly responsible for the deaths of countless people.

“They say another week and you’ll be cleared for release,” Lester continued.

Frowning, Leek shook his head. “I don’t think it’s that easy.”

Lester lifted his eyebrows. “Your leg is bothering you?”

Leek made a face. “I’m sorry, but, you do know what happened, right?”

Because maybe Lester didn’t know, and maybe it would be best not to tell him. But Leek was done with lies. Leek was done with conniving. Leek was done. He’d made his bed, and he was going to bloody lay in it -- no matter what.

Lester shrugged. “If you’re referring to the fact that you lied, misappropriated funds and supplies, falsified reports, and conspired against the government, then yes, I am fairly aware,” he said.

There it was, then. Leek’s guilt -- and he had no excuse. He would offer none. “So is this the part where I’m arrested?” he asked.

Lester glanced around. “Unless there are police in the closet--”

“I know it doesn’t have to be police,” Leek said. “You can hold me at anywhere you like. Crimes of treason--”

Lester lifted a hand, his pretenses slipping for a moment. “People have died, Mr. Leek,” he interjected, voice gruffer than normal. “Many mistakes were made, some intentional, some not. Your role in this is significant, as I am well aware of now. But you also did more than anyone else to stop it, almost at the cost of your own life.”

Leek shook his head. “But none of it would have happened without me.”

“Let’s not be obtuse,” Lester said. “This was Helen Cutter’s doing, wasn’t it?”

Leek felt his cheeks redden.

“Besides,” Lester continued. “I’m told by several reliable sources that once you found out her real intentions, you changed your mind. She would have found a way without you, but only by your help did we stop her at all.”

“So you still have her?” Leek asked.

A smile twitched on Lester’s lips. “She’s locked up tight, charged with a dozen or so very serious crimes.”

“And that’s it?” Leek asked.

“Well, no,” Lester said. “There is still a strong case against you, and the legal process against Helen will be years in the making. However, I’ve talked to Legal about it, and I think we can get you full immunity if you testify against her.”

Full immunity. Testify. Helen.

It was more than he’d dared hope for. More than he’d thought possible.

He shook his head. “You can’t actually be willing to let me off the hook,” he said.

Lester rolled his eyes. “Honestly, are you trying to make this difficult for yourself?”

“You’ve hated me from the beginning,” Leek protested. “Now that all your worst doubts about me have been confirmed, you want to offer me a way out?”

Lester closed his mouth, regarding Leek silently for a moment. Then, he let out a breath. “I underestimated you from the start,” he said. “Not that that makes anything you did acceptable by any stretch of the imagination, but you did try to tell me more than once. The ARC has been a mess since its inception, and I’ve not always done the best job sorting that out. But when push came to shove, I think we all decided what side of things we’re on.”

That actually made sense. They’d all drawn their lines on the sand and -- somehow -- ended up on the same side.

“We have enough enemies and more than our share of problems,” Lester said. “Somehow I think all of us could use a second start. I mean, if you’d rather rot away in prison, I’m sure we can arrange that--”

Leek shook his head. “No,” he said quickly.

“And obviously, you’d have a very short leash at the ARC, and I can guarantee you that I will be overseeing your work personally--”

Leek cocked his head. “Wait,” he said. “You mean, you still want me at the ARC.”

“Well it is easier than trying to give you a reference,” Lester said. “I mean, I know it won’t be easy. There was a death count, and while it has been made apparent that was never your intention, you still had a part in it.”

Averting his gaze, Leek nodded. “I want to make it up to everyone as best I can.”

“Your role has been minimized on the whole, anyway,” Lester said. “It’s not exactly in our best interest to go broadcasting the faults that led to the breach. 90 percent of it has been classified anyway.”

“So they don’t know?” Leek asked, glancing up at him again.

“Cutter and his team are aware, but they appear quite forgiving,” Lester said. “As for the rest, they know the blame rests with Helen Cutter.”

With a feeble smile, Leek almost didn’t know what to say. “It’s more than I deserve.”

“We all had a role in that mess,” Lester said. “Besides, I think you can be quite useful to us. I’ve seen the organizational structure in place at your alternate facility. It’s impressive, to say the least. I definitely think there is room to tweak the system we have in place if you’re willing to work with us.”

Leek almost laughed. “Of course,” he said readily. “I mean, thank you.” He found his eyes watering. “I don’t even know what to say.”

“Well there will be time for that,” Lester said. “There will be some people down from Legal to talk you through the deal and to start taking your statements regarding Helen.” He hesitated. “This won’t all be easy, and you will be expected to be at the beck and call of the prosecution team.”

“Anything,” Leek said, his hope rising. “Anything at all.”

“Right,” Lester said. “Also, you won’t be surprised if you get a demotion.”

“Considering that I didn’t expect to have a job,” Leek countered ruefully. “Honestly, I’m not even sure what to make of this.”

“We all got second chances in this, Mr. Leek,” Lester said. “And I somewhat think most of us didn’t deserve them. Besides, Cutter and his team made a compelling case for you. And none of them came through this spotless, mind you. If ever there was a mismatched group of idiots who deserved each other, it’s the lot of you.”

Leek couldn’t help but grin. But then, it faltered. “And Stephen?”

At that, Lester’s face fell. “He’s the reason why they fought for you, I think,” Lester said. “Cutter said the two of you stopped everything, all on your own. When no one else would listen, you two worked it out together. He was not exactly thrilled with your part in all this, but he did agree that you be given another chance after you saved Stephen’s life.”

Leek swallowed. “So he’s alive?” he asked, trying not to think about his last image of Stephen, bloody and splayed on the concrete floor.

Lester hesitated, but nodded. “Yes,” he said. “Though he hasn’t woken yet. The damage was...extensive. They’ve been trying to keep him ahead of the infection, but he’s been on the critical list for over a week now.”

“Can I see him?” Leek asked.

“You are still not technically cleared of charges,” Lester reminded him. “I’m not sure you’re in any position to be asking for favors.”

Leek’s shoulders slumped with embarrassment.

Lester got on his feet. “Talk to Legal,” he said with a purposeful look. Then he shrugged, his gaze lingering on Leek with a hint of compassion. “Then we’ll see about the rest.”

A smile spread across Leek’s face. “Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me, Mr. Leek,” Lester said. “Just prove yourself worthy this time, please.”

“Anything,” Leek said. “I promise.”

Lester rolled his eyes, shaking his head. “Forgive me if I don’t want your promises,” he said. “Let’s just take it one day at a time, shall we?”

Leek nodded. “That sounds reasonable,” he agreed. “Also, I just. I wanted to say. I’m -- sorry.”

Lester’s mouth thinned out.

“At the start, I just wanted to help,” Leek said. “I’m not sure when it changed, but I should have stopped. Rather, I never should have started. I should have never trusted Helen.”

“We all should have done a lot of things,” Lester said softly. “I can’t say that it’s all forgotten but I don’t think I have much room to be throwing stones, especially since I signed every form you forged and flatly ignored you when you told me the truth. I’m having to cut a few legal deals myself to keep this post.”

“Still,” Leek said. “I am sorry.”

Lester glanced down. “For what it’s worth,” he mused quietly, meeting Leek’s gaze again. “So am I.”

With that, Lester left, and Leek found himself alone but for the first time, that really didn’t seem so bad.

-o-

It would have been nice if the rest were easy. But after committing treason and very nearly dying for his own redemption, he’d probably forsake the easy road months ago. Hell, it’d probably been gone the minute Helen Cutter picked him up in a bar and he just hadn’t known it until now.

And he knew it now.

If the agony of trying to stop what he’d started hadn’t been enough, the slow recovery from his wound was painful and tedious. More than that, the legal quandary of being the star witness for his absolution was a mess. He spent more time with lawyers than he did medical staff, and between his therapy and his legal sessions, he mostly found himself too exhausted to do anything but sleep.

Still, things got better. The lawyers looked less grim-faced and started calling him by his first name. The nurses started joking with him, and one day he was presented with a wheel chair.

He looked at it skeptically. “I didn’t think we were scheduled for a field trip,” he said, looking curiously at his nurse.

She shrugged, busying herself with locking the wheels. “I’m told you wanted to make a trip to the ICU.”

Leek tilted his head.

She looked up. “To see Mr. Hart?” she asked. “Apparently it was a bit of a mess, but the legal team finally cleared you to make the trip.”

Gaping, Leek didn’t even know what to say.

“Unless you don’t want--”

“No,” Leek said quickly. “I very much want to.”

Her smile returned. “Very good, then,” she said, moving to the bed to help him. “Up we go now.”

Leek had never been more motivated to move.

-o-

For all that he’d looked forward to seeing Stephen, the reality was starker than he’d anticipated. After nearly a week and a half, Leek was sore but healing. Moving around still left him winded, but when the doctors talked about releasing him in a few more days, he’d actually been looking forward to the small chance at freedom.

Stephen was not so lucky.

After all this time, he was still in the ICU. Lester had told him Stephen was on the critical list, but Leek had not fully grasped just what that meant. Stephen was unconscious on the bed, cheeks flushed with an obvious fever and his hair matted with sweat. There was a ventilator tube snaking from his mouth and an IV hanging from the side of the bed. The monitors beeped and hummed with a strange cacophony that made Leek feel oddly claustrophobic.

It was jarring, really, and Leek suddenly wondered what he had been thinking. Why was he really here? What purpose did he think he served? Did he actually think he belonged?

The impetus to leave was strong, and Leek knew no one would even know.

But, this was a moment. This was a decision.

He’d fought to save the ARC and the people in it. He’d struggled and sacrificed to do the right thing.

You have to decide.

If he left, he could still make his deal and slink off into oblivion as an underling at the ARC.

If he stayed, he could see this through. He could draw his line in the sand and stand with the one man who had believed him when it counted.

He could stay with a man who might be his only friend.

Stephen could also hate him, he knew. That would be entirely possible and quite legitimate.

There was only one way to find out.

Scooting his wheelchair closer, he sighed, settling in next to the side of Stephen’s bed. “Well, at least the worst is over now,” he said, chuckling stupidly in the stillness. He swallowed and forced a smile. “So you may as well wake up soon. There’s no point in earning a second chance if you’re not around to see it.”

Comments

Posted by: knitekat (knitekat)
Posted at: April 26th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)

Yay for a fixit and a second chance.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
stephen and cutter

Fixits always make me happy to write :) Thanks!

Posted by: freddiejoey (freddiejoey)
Posted at: April 27th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)

Your story is a wonderful journey of tension and Machiavellian deeds and finally hope.

Love the way you write the characters in depth and your dialogue is fabulous as always.

A pleasure to read - congratulations. <3

(edited to add: I did read the lovely epilogue. I've just posted in the wrong spot)

Edited at 2013-04-27 01:51 am (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 12:03 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

Your review made me smile a lot. This fic ended up being way more than I anticipated, but the response has made it entirely worthwhile.

Thanks!

Posted by: reggietate (reggietate)
Posted at: April 27th, 2013 09:53 am (UTC)
circleofglass

*does a happy dance* I certainly never thought I'd be dancing for joy because Leek got a fixit, but I am. Plus you saved Stephen too (of course) *g* What a stunning story! *runs off to read the epilogue*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 12:04 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

I never would have written a Leek fic if not for the prompt. The way the last gif just lingered on Leek compelled me, and hence the fic :)

Thanks!

Posted by: fredbassett (fredbassett)
Posted at: April 28th, 2013 12:51 pm (UTC)

FIX-IT!!! IT'S A WONDERFUL FIX-IT!!!

You fixed both Stephen and Leek, and I don't think anyone's ever done that before! *bounces happily*

Off to the epilogue at speed....

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 12:04 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

Something new in Primeval fandom? That is quite an accomplishment!

Thanks :)

Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: April 28th, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)

ARRG! Is is possible to shake Cutter very hard and very long until maybe just a little sense rattles free from his stubbornness? :) For someone who kept saying he was finished with the past, he sure brought it up whenever he had the chance!

“I’m not sure I’d be bragging about that,” Stephen whispered at him.
Brilliant line. Just brilliant.

Yippee for the fixit that was still not perfection.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

LOL, poor Cutter. I mean, he had his reasons and they had some validity, but he could be such an idiot sometimes. They all could. What a messed up group of people!

Thanks for everything on this fic :)

Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 01:53 am (UTC)
Stephen Smug

You're very welcome. I enjoyed it immensely, and was honored to be asked.

Posted by: fififolle (fififolle)
Posted at: May 1st, 2013 06:16 am (UTC)
Primeval - Stephen/Nick Dirty Boys

Whee! Brilliant!
Leek and Stephen teaming up against Helen was an amazing scene. But then, oh dear, Cutter. And then, even more oh dear. I couldn't believe they both went in, that was genius. I love the hospital scenes *wibble*
It's all going to be okay! Yay!!
Wonderful story, thank you!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
stephen smiles

There were always elements of the angst and drama I liked in the end of S2. I just always hated how it ended. So I tend to write fixits that offer variations on canon but use a lot of the same events and contexts.

Thank you so much for your kind reviews :)

Posted by: lsellersfic (lsellersfic)
Posted at: May 2nd, 2013 06:49 am (UTC)
Primeval:Leek/Stephen

Yay! Lester apologised!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
stephen goodbye

Lester apologizing is always a feat :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Cordelia Delayne (cordeliadelayne)
Posted at: May 7th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
[primeval] side view stephen

Aw, yay and *sniffle* A great way of rewriting things.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 23rd, 2013 02:40 am (UTC)
stephen and cutter

Thank you :) This show is great for rewriting.

Posted by: basched (basched)
Posted at: May 16th, 2013 09:38 am (UTC)
Mecker02


Firstly, sorry for taking so long, but I do get there in the end.

Wow, wow and more wow. I was totally gripped and if it didn't freak me out, I would have been biting my nails!

I was so pleased that it all worked out, that Lester apologised and Leek still had a place at the ARC. I'm so thrilled that Stephen was still alive too!

Truly fantastic work! I'm off to read the epilogue.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 23rd, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
stephen skeptical

I'm glad you made it through! After all I put these characters through, I wanted to give them a happier ending :)

Thanks so much!s

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