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Primeval fic: Project Dress Stephen (Second Life verse)

Title: Project: Dress Stephen

Disclaimer: I do not own Primeval or feral Stephen.

A/N: Again, part of the Second Life verse by lena7142 and next in the Continued Adventures of Feral Stephen. Thanks again to Lena for letting me play with Stephen and beta’ing my work.

Summary: There was simply no way around it. Stephen had to get dressed.


Session One

There was simply no way around it. Stephen had to get dressed.

Cutter had hoped that after being back in the present, Stephen would start to pick up on certain habits naturally. However, Cutter had clearly underestimated the impact of eight years in the Permian on the human mind. Stephen wasn’t just antisocial and difficult for the sake of surviving. He was actually marginally feral as part of his permanent disposition.

Which meant he was going to need some help if he was going to make a place for himself in this world.

Since everyone else seemed vaguely afraid of Stephen, that just left Cutter to the task.

He’d made subtle suggestions regarding clothing but with no apparent effect. After Connor had pointed out how...distracting Stephen was getting, Cutter had tried various methods of broaching the subject to no avail. Feeling frustrated, Cutter had diverted his attention to other glaring problems.

After a successful haircut and reminding Stephen on the virtues of daily showers, Cutter decided to tackle clothing with new vigour. Besides, now that Stephen had been released back to his clone’s apartment, Cutter was faced with the pressing reality that if Stephen was going to work again, he would need to dress appropriately. Most importantly, Cutter was getting tired of walking in and seeing way more of Stephen than he had ever wanted to.

So one day, he opened Stephen’s wardrobe and nodded toward it.

Stephen looked at it, brow furrowed.

Cutter nodded toward it again, encouragingly. “See, you have clothes,” he said.

Stephen made a face. “So?”

“So,” Cutter continued. “This is civilisation. We wear clothes here.”

Stephen looked at the clothing. Then he looked at Cutter.

For a moment, Cutter dared to hope it would be this easy.

Then Stephen walked away.

Session Two

This time, Cutter pulled a shirt out for him. “Just try it for the day,” he said.

Stephen didn’t take it. “It’s hot outside.”

“Yes, but you have air conditioning.”

“It’s impractical,” Stephen argued.

Cutter nearly threw it at him. “Just humour me.”

Stephen reluctantly took the garment, putting it on over his head before stalking off.

Cutter smiled. Mission accomplished.

A short time later, however, Cutter walked into the next room and found Stephen, shirtless. As he got closer, he saw strips of cloth flung about the couch and coffee table, his knives gleaming in a row beside him.

“What happened!” Cutter exclaimed.

“I needed to clean my knives,” Stephen said simply, almost beaming at the blades.

“With your shirt?” Cutter demanded.

Stephen shrugged. “It was convenient.”

Cutter picked up some of the scraps. “It’s a shirt!’

Stephen was nonplussed. “It makes a better rag.”

And for today, Cutter was content to let that be that.

Session Three

Cutter tried a new approach. Stephen was a grown man. While he might need a little guidance, he probably wanted to make his own choices. So Cutter went through Stephen’s wardrobe and showed him the items, piece by piece, making a pile of ones to keep and ones to get rid of.

So far, they’d managed to keep two plain t-shirts and a pair of jeans.

Everything else had not passed muster.

When Stephen vetoed a plain button up shirt, Cutter sighed in exasperation. “And what’s wrong with this one?” he demanded.

“Buttons are impractical,” Stephen said. “Takes too much time.”

“Time you have by the way,” Cutter said.

Stephen made a face. He shook his head. “These clothes are all ridiculous,” he said. He reached out, snagging the orange cargo pants from the wardrobe. “I mean, who would wear these?”

It was Cutter’s turn to glower. “They’re not so bad,” he said, remembering his Stephen’s affinity for the garment.

“Not if you want to get eaten by every predator in the area,” Stephen said with a huff.

And Cutter couldn’t help it -- his mind flashed to the cage room. To Stephen standing alone in the center, eyes locked on him the second before--

He shook himself. The other Stephen hadn’t suffered that way in this world.

Still. He had suffered, and Cutter would always carry that weight.

And this Stephen would probably never understand. Probably wouldn’t pull his head out of his arse to try because he was too busy thinking like some prehistoric predator to be bothered with things like common courtesy and overall societal norms.

All in all, Cutter had had quite enough for one day.

“Fine,” he said, snatching the pants from Stephen’s hands. “Go around naked. See what I care.”

And this time, he was the one who walked out, orange cargo pants still in his hands.

Session Four

Cutter had no intention of pushing the topic again. That didn’t mean that he was going to leave Stephen to fend for himself. Chances were that the man would end up skinning his neighbor’s cat if Cutter didn’t check in on him and suggest actual food instead of live prey.

When he arrived, Stephen opened the door.

He was wearing a shirt.

Cutter looked at him in surprise.

Stephen looked down, shrugging. “Someone across the street kept staring at me when I walked around naked,” he said.

Cutter blinked.

Stephen sighed. “And I’m -- sorry,” he said finally, the words awkward. “You told me how he died once. And I -- I didn’t think.”

Cutter didn’t know what to say.

“And really, in the right climate and time of year, orange cargo pants could be an asset,” Stephen said, almost helpfully.

Cutter looked at him. Stephen was trying. He was actually trying.

Finally, Cutter grinned. “The shirt’s nice,” he said, easing his way inside. “Now let’s talk about some trousers.”

Session Five

Things went well for three days. Stephen got up and got dressed and walked around in actual clothing.

Then, on the fourth day, he ran out of clean clothes.

While a reminder on how to use a laundry machine was most definitely in order, Cutter also reckoned that shoring up Stephen’s wardrobe could only help matters.

About a half hour into their shopping excursion, Cutter was no longer so certain.

“This is criminal,” Stephen muttered, looking at the price tag. “No one in their right mind would pay this much for a pair of jeans.”

“But look,” Cutter said, trying to be helpful. “They’re on sale.”

Stephen did not look convinced. Instead, he looked at the tag. “And see, delicate wash only,” he said. “I don’t want anything delicate.”

Cutter sighed, putting the jeans back on the rack. “Fine,” he said, pulling another pair off the shelf. “How about these?”

Stephen looked at them disapprovingly. Then he plucked at the tag and made a face. “Synthetic fibres.”

“Oh for goodness sakes,” Cutter grumbled. “Now you’re just being difficult.”

Stephen’s brow darkened and his mouth turned down in a fair approximation of an actual pout. “My clothing was perfectly fine before.”

“You wore a loincloth,” Cutter reminded him.

“And it was comfortable!”

“You never struck me as an exihibitionist,” Cutter commented wryly.

“It was simple,” Stephen said contrarily.

Cutter stared at him. “You were also alone for almost a decade in the Permian,” he said. “Putting on a few extra layers seems like a small price to pay.”

Stephen sighed.

Cutter held out the trousers. “Did I mention that if you get dressed and try coming to work, they’ll let you play with more weapons?”

At this, Stephen perked up. “Really?”

Cutter nodded.

Stephen was suspicious, but finally he took the trousers. “Fine,” he said shortly. “But if you’re lying--”

Cutter held up his hands. “I’ve seen you in action,” he said. “I’m not that foolish.”

Session Six

Stephen stood in front of him. He fiddled with the sleeves of his shirt, fussing with the still-new crease of his jeans, but there he was: showered, beard trimmed, fully dressed.

The jeans were a bit too casual for work, and the undershirt was red while his button up shirt was maroon, which actually seemed about right for Stephen, feral or not.

Finally, Cutter nodded. “Okay,” he said.

Stephen looked hopeful.

Cutter nodded again. “Okay,” he said. “You pass.”

“So I can go?” Stephen asked, sounding more like the eager young student Cutter remembered than ever before.

“I don’t see why not,” Cutter said. “Lester already said you could have the job.”

For a brief moment, Stephen smiled. Then, he seemed to remember himself and reined it back in with a scowl. He grunted, nodding back. “Okay, then.”

“You ready?” Cutter asked.

Stephen scoffed at him. “I’m dressed, aren’t I?”

And after a week of trying, that really did seem to be answer enough.


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Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)

I love it.
I started *snorfling* at the very first line.

Poor Cutter. How DO you convince someone to do something when they see absolutely no value in it? *g*

And besides, I'd be perfectly happy with Naked!Stephen walking around *nods*

*snicker* at the first shirt being used to clean knives. Poor thing!

*ouch* for the Neighbor's cat.

And trust Cutter to come up with the perfect bribe to get Stephen clothed again...

And Stephen is starting to forget to be Mr Stoic. Good!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
stephen and cutter

Aw, thanks! I'm glad it was amusing!

And I think most of us wouldn't object to naked Stephen, but I can see how it might make work difficult.


Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
James and Cat

Squeees - I luvs all of this fic!! SmileyStephen!

**Warnings: Still an AU of S2, though it mentions unpleasant canon events. And Stephen's still in a loin cloth.**

The last sentence in that warning is not a warning. It is an encouragement/advertisement/incentive/huge bonus etc!

**He was actually marginally feral as part of his permanent disposition.**

*falls about laughing*

I love the mental tug of war between Stephen and Nick, Nick's chipper 'See, you have clothes!' and then Stephen picking up on Nick's sadness about his Stephen. Yay for them coming to a compromise ;)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
feral stephen

Haha. Yeah, I suppose nakedness is less a warning for the majority of people than it is incentive to read :)

I really have enjoyed playing with the dynamic between this Stephen and Nick. It's the same...but different. That's why I've written so much fic about them!


Posted by: freddiejoey (freddiejoey)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 07:21 am (UTC)

More beautifully done feral Stephen. The interaction between him and Nick in this 'verse is wonderful.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

I'm really glad you're enjoying it! There is a lot more to come...


Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
Stephen bruise

Briliiant! I love this universe. And feral Stephen has impeccable taste when it comes to turning his nose up at the ghastly cargo pants! Nick's bribe is very crafty, incidentally *g*. And I sniggered at the thought of the neighbour getting an eyeful!

PS: You'll want wardrobe and not closet - closets are what you come out of in the UK, not where you hang clothes!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

I'm quite fond of this verse, too :) I'm really glad Lena created it -- and lets me play around with it.

And LOL, feral Stephen does have a bit more sense than the lovely clone. Though I do have a soft spot for those pants.


(And I fixed that! I'll remember all the things someday!)

Posted by: clea2011 (clea2011)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 08:30 am (UTC)

Lol! Cutter is slowly making what he thinks is progress, though I'm not sure stopping Stephen wandering round in a loincloth is actually progress *g* lol at the shirt getting used for rags, and the person staring! (who wouldn't ?!)
Great addition to the series!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter

Well, I suppose progress is a relative thing :)


Posted by: judithjohn (judithjohn)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)

Love it to bits - like Stephen's shirt

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
stephen's eyes

Aw, thanks!

Posted by: flaccidduck (flaccidduck)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)

This verse makes me smile and fills me with warmth.

Totally lovely

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
stephen angsty

This verse makes me silly happy, too, so I'm glad other people like it, too.


Posted by: natchris (natchris)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)

*does a happy dance for feral Stephen and fabulous Cutter*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
stephen happy

They are wonderful, aren't they?


Posted by: joshinator (joshinator)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)

Just a big :D plus icon

Edited at 2012-08-03 12:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
stephen happy



Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 12:37 pm (UTC)

Poor Cuttter. Patience is a virtue. *g*

LOL at “And see, delicate wash only,”

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
feral stephen

Cutter needs a LOT of patience with feral Stephen around...


Posted by: aunteeneenah (aunteeneenah)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)

Hmmmmm, naked/feral!Stephen, oh yeah... Sorry, I was off somewhere... else. Okay, clothes are important, and apparently, so is being able to play with all sorts of weapons so, yeah, Cutter isn't above a little blackmail to get the desired end results so very well done. Now, back to naked/feral!Stephen...mmmmmm

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
stephen smiles

Hah, naked/feral Stephen is sort of a distracting thought...


Posted by: fredbassett (fredbassett)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)

OMG, I'm glad Cutter managed to save the neighbour's cat from a fate worse than death!

And bribing him with weapons was a great idea.

I love this universe!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter

I'm really glad everyone is enjoying it so much!


Posted by: knitekat (knitekat)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)

Great addition to this 'verse and lucky neighbour and cat.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
stephen skeptical

Thank you!

Posted by: Lena7142 (lena7142)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
feral stephen

Haha, I love your take on feral!Stephen. And you know how much I enjoy this fic. It's funny and bittersweet and just all kinds of lovely. You're lovely. ^_^

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
stephen blue wonder

I think you're really the lovely one, but you know that. Hence why I overuse the word "awesome" when I am talking to you. But it still stands: you're awesome. Anything good I write is largely your influence :)


Posted by: reggietate (reggietate)
Posted at: August 6th, 2012 09:38 am (UTC)

Very funny and rather touching, too :-)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 7th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
feral stephen

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you!

37 Read Comments
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