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Primeval fic: One Line at a Time (2/2)

June 14th, 2014 (08:01 am)
okay

feeling: okay

Continued from PART ONE.

As a note on the difference between American and British English, I used the term "drop slip," which is what you get signed by a professor in the United States when you want to drop a course. I couldn't find what the relevant term would be in the UK, so my American version is still in there. Apologies if it makes no sense! I'll make a change if someone wants to tell me a better term.

Again, thanks to kristen_mara for her time beta'ing and reggietate for the artwork. And to everyone at primeval_denial for the continuing fun in writing for this fandom.




The envelope is thick, and when Cutter opens it, he finds a stack of papers. They are printed in plain, blocky font. It’s another script.. Confused, Cutter flips through, but none of it makes any sense.

Then, he reads the title.

The Story of Stephen Hart,
it reads. Then, in italics, You know how it ends. Now see how it begins.

-o-

IN HELEN’S LAB. Stephen enters. He’s young and nervous, carrying a drop slip in his hands. He’s been in Helen’s course all semester and it’s his favorite, but his marks are low.

STEPHEN: I’m thinking of changing colleges.

HELEN: [looking at him, as if for the first time] Quitting?

STEPHEN: [chagrined] I’m not very good at this. I have other interests--

HELEN: [shakes her head] Irrelevant. You can’t quit.

STEPHEN: [vexed] You told me on my last paper that I wasn’t good enough--

HELEN: On your own, you’re not.

STEPHEN: Then I’m not sure--

HELEN: I need a studious, dedicated student. One who will always be there, and who can help me with the small things. In return, I can offer you personal tutoring to get through the rest of the program.

STEPHEN: [confused; uncertain] But I’m not even sure this is what I want--

HELEN: Why did you sign up for this program?

STEPHEN: [swallows] I liked your introductory course so much, I decided to see about learning more.

HELEN: And?

STEPHEN: And it’s been interesting. Fascinating, really. You’re an incredible teacher, but I don’t have the aptitude for it.

HELEN: [smiles] You don’t need aptitude. You just need me.

When Stephen leaves, his drop slip sits on Helen’s desk, unsigned. Stephen thinks of it from time to time, but he never sees the note again.

-o-

IN THE LAB. The semester continues. Stephen works harder than ever before. When Helen explains things, it all makes sense. He loves to watch her work; he loves to listen to her teach. He loves her mind and her science.

Sometimes, he just loves her.

He’s having the time of his life.

Until it becomes his entire life.

STEPHEN: It would just be for the weekend.

HELEN: [distracted] What would be?

STEPHEN: The tournament. I’ve gone every year.

HELEN: [looks up, confused] Tournament?

STEPHEN: [swallows, suddenly nervous] The one I told you about. For sharpshooting. It’s this weekend. I’d just be gone Friday through Sunday--

HELEN: [shakes her head] I need you this weekend.

STEPHEN: But it’s just two days--

HELEN: [matter of fact] We have to finish the grant proposal.

Stephen hesitates, as if in disbelief.

STEPHEN: But, I told you a month ago--

HELEN: [indifferent, going back to work] I don’t recall that.

STEPHEN: [crestfallen; goes to her] Helen--

Helen looks up, sharply.

HELEN: It’s not a debate, Stephen. Cancel the plans.

Stephen looks like he wants to argue. Helen smiles softly, placing a hand gently on his.

HELEN: Trust me. It’ll be worth your while.

-o-

IN HELEN’S OFFICE. After another semester, Stephen is her lab assistant. He spends more time at the lab than he does at home. He knows Helen’s schedule; he knows her life. He knows her.

STEPHEN: Don’t forget, you’ve got to squeeze in a trip to the airport on Tuesday.

Helen makes a face and doesn’t look up.

HELEN: Whatever for?

STEPHEN: [a bit surprised] Mr Cutter’s flight out? He’s leaving for Africa for three months. I blocked off the entire day before--

HELEN: [waves her hand] No need for that. I’ll just need an hour to drop him off. I’ll be back for afternoon class.

STEPHEN: [hesitates] It’s three months. I thought--

HELEN: [looks at him, smiles] Oh, Stephen. That’s cute. You thought we’d want to spend the time together?

STEPHEN: He is your husband.

HELEN: [smirks] Yes, I suppose he is.

-o-

AT HELEN’S HOUSE. With Mr Cutter gone, Helen has Stephen meet her at home. He helps get her papers ready, and they do their grading there. Stephen learns the ins and outs of her kitchen and makes sure things are properly cleaned. Sometimes, he sleeps on the couch.

HELEN: Here.

She hands him a shirt. Stephen is dubious.

STEPHEN: Isn’t this Mr Cutter’s?

HELEN: [scoffs] Nick’s in Africa. Besides, you do all the laundry. You can wash it and put it back. He’ll never know the difference.

-o-

LATE NIGHT IN THE LAB. It’s more work than Stephen anticipated. He’s a lab technician, a personal assistance and a housekeeper all at once. Sometimes he misses his friends and his hobbies. Sometimes he thinks to leave.

Helen smiles at him, hand lingering on his arm. She’s beautiful; she’s passionate. Her touch is like electricity, and Stephen is galvanized in her presence every single time.

He’s a moth; she’s a flame. He flies closer every time, and he knows someday he’ll get burned, but all he thinks is that it’s worth it.

HELEN: I don’t know what I’d do without you.

STEPHEN: [chest tight] You won’t have to know. I’d do anything for you.

HELEN: [smiles] We’ll see.

-o-

AFTER CLASS. Time passes; Stephen hardly notices. When he looks at the calendar, he sees the date.

STEPHEN: Oh, that’s good.

HELEN: [immersed in work] Hmm?

STEPHEN: Mr Cutter will be home next week.

HELEN: [doesn’t look up]

STEPHEN: [looks at her] Do you want to take a day off? So the two of you can--

HELEN: [frowns] Wait, what?

STEPHEN: A day off for when your husband gets back. It might be nice to catch up--

HELEN: [stiffly] No, I don’t think so.

STEPHEN: You have the time.

HELEN: [curt] I said no.

STEPHEN: But--

HELEN: No. And I don’t want to hear any more about it, do you understand?

Her stare is penetrating, and Stephen doesn’t understand at all, but he’s not about to admit that.

-o-

IN THE LAB. The next week is tense. Helen is short with him, barely talking to him or ordering him about. Stephen tries not to take it personally, but it stings.

STEPHEN: [sighing] If you’d rather me leave--

HELEN: [surprise; looks at him as if for the first time] What?

STEPHEN: I don’t know what I’ve done, but you’ve been mad at me all week. If you want me to go--

HELEN: [moves closer to him] Stephen--

He flinches at the sound of his name on her lips. She reaches out, touching his arm.

HELEN: Stephen, this has nothing to do with you.

STEPHEN: [wavering] Well, then, what is it about?

HELEN: It’s Nick. And my marriage. It’s a joke, Stephen. I’m scared of when he comes back because it makes the loneliness almost impossible. When he’s gone, I don’t have to think about how little he sees me now. But when he’s here, living in my house, it’s too much. I’d rather be left behind than entirely forgotten.

STEPHEN: [uncertain] I’d never forget you.

HELEN: [reaches her fingers to his hair, smiling now] I know.

-o-

IN CUTTER’S BEDROOM

Stephen is on the floor, perched on his knees with his shirt half unbuttoned while he fumbles with Helen’s bra. He doesn’t quite know how he got here.

STEPHEN: [panting] We can’t--

HELEN: [laughs, pulling him closer frantically] We can.

STEPHEN: [moans] Helen, please, we can’t--

HELEN: [bears down, growls] You said anything, Stephen. Don’t make a liar of yourself.

Stephen only wishes he could.

-o-

Helen takes a shower when it’s done. Stephen sits half naked on the floor, shocked. He doesn’t know what to do.

He leaves before Helen gets out of the shower

-o-

STEPHEN’S FLAT. Stephen checks the messages on his mobile that he’s neglected for months. He goes through his mail and tries to remember what life used to be like.

He loves Helen.

Which is why there is only one thing to do.

-o-

AT THE LAB. Stephen clutches the paper in his hand. He takes a breath and puts it on the table in front of her.

HELEN: [eyebrows raised] You’re joking.

STEPHEN: [resolute] It’s the only solution.

HELEN: I didn’t realize there was a problem.

STEPHEN: [flushed] What we did was wrong.

HELEN: We’re both adults--

STEPHEN: You’re married!

HELEN: [shrugs] That didn’t matter to you last night.

STEPHEN: [reddened] Helen, I can’t--

HELEN: [pins him with look] No, Stephen, what you can’t do is quit. You love me, and we both know it. Leaving me would destroy you. Stay with me, and it’ll all be alright.

STEPHEN: [desperate] Helen, please--

HELEN: [bites her lip playfully] You’re going to stay, because that’s who you are. You stick things through, Stephen. That’s why I picked you. Because I knew you’d never quit.

STEPHEN: I came to you with a drop slip.

HELEN: And here we are.

STEPHEN: [crestfallen] It’s not right.

HELEN: [picks up the drop slip and rips it up] As if that matters now.

When she kisses him, he doesn’t fight. He wants to hate it, but he never can.

Stephen will be there, then. Even to the end.

-o-

HELEN’S HOME. Cutter is back and notices the house is cleaner when Stephen drops off some paperwork for Helen, Cutter notices that the house is cleaner.

HELEN: [grinning at Stephen] I’ve had some help.

Stephen turns bright red and looks away.

CUTTER: [pats him on the shoulder] I suppose I should thank you, then. For taking care of things.

STEPHEN: [shakes his head] No--

HELEN: He’s just being modest.

CUTTER: [chuckles] Working for you, he’d have to be. Stay for dinner, mate.

STEPHEN: No, I don’t think--

CUTTER: I insist!

HELEN: Please do, Stephen. The three of us; we’re something now.

On that point, Stephen can’t disagree.

-o-

HELEN’S OFFICE. Time passes. Things don’t change.

Stephen hates his life.

But he loves Helen.

STEPHEN: Don’t forget about the grant meeting next week.

HELEN: [frowning] Can’t you deal with that?

STEPHEN: They need you there. It is your project.

HELEN: Which is why I don’t have the time--

STEPHEN: They won’t approve the funds without a qualified professor.

HELEN: [annoyed] Fine. I’ll be back by then.

STEPHEN: [after a pause] You haven’t told me where you’re going.

HELEN: Worried?

STEPHEN: [a bit put out] You’ve been keeping secrets lately.

HELEN: [innocently] You mean like our affair?

STEPHEN: Like where you’ve been going. Whole days; you’re just gone.

HELEN: It’s work, I promise you.

STEPHEN: Helen, you matter to people.

HELEN: [knowingly] You mean I matter to you.

Stephen can’t deny it. She moves closer to him.

HELEN: Don’t worry. I’ll be back in time for the meeting. I promise.

-o-

Helen doesn’t come back.

It’s Stephen who asks Cutter if she’s been in contact, and it’s Stephen who sits anxiously in the lab, waiting for news that just never comes.

-o-

POLICE STATION.

The police interview him. If they suspect an affair, they say nothing about it. Helen was meticulous about that secret; there’s no trail to trace between them on a romantic level.

Stephen comes in voluntarily and answers all their questions. He tells them he knew everything about her.

COP: Except where she went.

Stephen looks away.

COP: You were basically her personal assistant. And you had no idea?

STEPHEN: [looks up] If I did, I’d tell you. I want her back more than anything.

-o-

STEPHEN’S FLAT. There’s no trace of Helen. The case stays active for six months before it’s declared cold. A year later, Stephen’s still waiting.

She promised him she’d be back.

Funny, he realizes for all of Helen’s faults, she never lied to him.

That just makes it harder.

-o-

AT THE LAB. Helen’s gone, but Stephen still does all her paperwork. He’s just as productive as ever, and sometimes he thinks he’ll turn around and she’ll still be there.

She’s not.

One day, Cutter is.

STEPHEN: [uncertain] I was just…

CUTTER: Keeping up Helen’s research. I know.

STEPHEN: [works his jaw] I just thought, you know, if she came back…

CUTTER: [tightly] I know.

There is an awkward silence.

CUTTER: Until then, the dean has officially let me take over her work.

Stephen looks up in surprise. Cutter shrugs.

CUTTER: It was either that or let it be abandoned. No one else wanted her crazy theories, and I couldn’t...I mean, I didn’t want…

STEPHEN: I know.

There’s another silence, more awkward than the last. He knows Cutter, but not well, and he’s always preferred it that way. This man was Helen’s husband. There was only one person in this room who had a right to grieve, and it sure as hell wasn’t Stephen.

STEPHEN: I’m sorry.

CUTTER: [with a small smile] It’s not as if it was your fault. Helen -- she had a mind of her own, and always did. What she wanted, she got, no questions asked. I just don’t know what she got into this time that took her down. If it was the science or just bad luck…

STEPHEN: She’s brilliant, you know.

CUTTER: [scoffs] And difficult and opinionated. No one could be right but her, she simply didn’t stand for it. Even when everyone told her how wrong she was… Sometimes I think that’s why she just up and left. Everyone told her she was crazy, and maybe she’s not coming back until she can prove them right.

STEPHEN: You think she’d do that? [after a beat] To you?

CUTTER: I’d like to think she wouldn’t, but here we are.

The silence looms again. Stephen nods.

STEPHEN: Here we are.

-o-

Work is different. Cutter isn’t as passionate as Helen, and he lacks the same spark. But he’s brilliant in his own way, and he demands less of Stephen. Stephen finds himself with more free time, but with nothing to fill it anymore. He’s lonely; he’s miserable.

Mostly, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

-o-

AT CUTTER’S OFFICE. Stephen makes it through the semester, but when the next one starts, he can’t do it anymore. He fills out the drop slip and brings it to Cutter’s office.

STEPHEN: Hey, I was wondering if I could have a minute--

CUTTER: [pushes aside a pile of papers] A minute, you can have. Just don’t ask me where this week’s assignments are.

STEPHEN: [settles uneasily into the chair] Check the filing cabinet. I tried to keep all work organized. Blank assignments are on the top, and current grading projects are on the bottom.

CUTTER: [huffs] That certainly makes sense.

STEPHEN: [smiles blandly] It’s not your class.

CUTTER: I know, trust me. When I agreed to take over Helen’s work, I assumed they’d get someone to teach her classes. I can handle her research, but I never realized what kind of a mess her teaching style was.

STEPHEN: She wasn’t so much into syllabi, but she was great at lecturing.

CUTTER: She loved hearing herself talk, so I’m not surprised.

Stephen looks down, turning the drop slip over.

CUTTER: [sighs] I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s a mess, isn’t it?

It’s somewhat rhetorical, and it’s absolutely right. Here they are. Helen’s wife and Helen’s lover, working together to make sense of what she left behind.

It was so much more than a mess.

CUTTER: I don’t know if I can keep it together. I have papers to grade and articles to review. I’m supposed to get her latest work published, but I can’t even find the parameters. And the grant is set to run out, and I don’t know if I can get it in time. I know I can let it all lapse, but… I can’t give up on her like that. The cops, they already have. The dean has reassigned all her work. If I let her work go, then she’s really gone, isn’t she?

For the first time, Stephen wonders if that’s for the best. If they’re both better off this way. It’s a freedom that comes with a price, but Stephen thinks maybe for the first time he’ll pay that toll and be done.

But he was Cutter’s lover and her student. Cutter was her husband, her life partner. He doesn’t have that choice.

STEPHEN: Well, I’ve filed all of her grant applications over the last few years. I know how to go about it.

CUTTER: You have?

STEPHEN: [shrugs] You know how Helen feels about paperwork.

CUTTER: [laughs] That’s not exactly in your job description.

STEPHEN: Trust me, this experience has always been more than a job to me.

CUTTER: Well, I’d be grateful. And I’d welcome the extra help.

STEPHEN: [crumpling the paper and putting it in his pocket] That’s that, then.

CUTTER: [grins] That’s that.

-o-

IN THE LAB. Stephen had every reason to go, and only stood to lose out if he stayed. He was risking his integrity by living a lie, and the more he grew to like Cutter, the more he knew he was making a mistake.

He couldn’t be Cutter’s friend. He’d slept with Cutter’s wife, and nothing he did, no matter how good or selfless, would ever change that. Anyone with any common sense would leave.

But that’s the mystery of it all.

People do stupid, strange things. They make the same mistakes, over and over again. On the outside, it never makes any sense, but sometimes, when you take another look, you can start to understand.

You understand that it doesn’t have to be right to make sense.

You understand that it doesn’t have to be smart to be the only choice left.

You understand that people can be bad and good all at once.

You just understand.

Stephen should tell the truth, and he knows this, but the fact is, Stephen Hart has never been a hero.

No, Stephen’s just a kid who never knows when to quit.

But at the end, it’s a death he’ll take.

Because he wouldn’t trade parts of it for anything in the world.

-o-

When Cutter looks up from the final page, the sun has nearly set. The sky is ablaze with color, and his chest feels tight as he looks around. The strange monument is all around him, a bizarre testament to something Cutter will never understand and has never needed to know.

And then, by the tree, is Stephen, standing as still as the stones around him.

Cutter inhales sharply. “You wrote this,” he concludes. “All of it.”

“That part’s true,” Stephen says.

“And the part you delivered yesterday?” Cutter asks.

“Speculation,” Stephen tells him. “The way we’re going, it’s not going to end well.”

“So you think Helen’s a traitor and that Leek’s planning to kill us all?” Nick asks.

“Helen can’t be trusted, and Leek’s just creepy. But that’s not the point--”

“And the part where you died?” Nick challenges.

Stephen flinches, just a little. “I am a traitor, Cutter,” he says. “I always have been, and neither of us want to say it, but we both know it’s true.”

“Not like that--”

Stephen levels him with a look, and Nick falls silent.

“I made mistakes, and I always will make mistakes when it comes to Helen,” Stephen says. “I’ve never know how to say no to her, and I don’t know if I ever will. And I’ve let this thing get completely out of control and it’s all my fault. I just never knew how to tell you. And even when you knew, I didn’t know how to explain it to you. I didn’t know how to tell you how sorry I was.”

Cutter eyes him indignantly. “So you thought writing your death would help?”

“I’m not looking for your sympathy, if that’s what you think,” Stephen says. “Nothing I wrote justifies what I’ve done. I slept with your wife. I lied to you for years. I had every opportunity to make it right, and I didn’t. And I’m sorry for that. I’m so, so sorry, and I don’t know how to make it right.”

He pauses, taking a breath. His shoulders slump, but he stands his ground.

“And after the things we’ve been through recently, maybe I can’t,” he continues. “You’ve said that you want to put it behind us, but we both know that things are different – and getting worse. I can’t blame you for that – you have every right to it -- but I wanted you to understand that what we’re doing, the way we’re avoiding this issue – it’s not working. And I know you. I know you have to see things for yourself. You have to make your own conclusions. So this was the only thing I could think of. You say you want answers, but what you really want is to be the one asking the questions.”

Cutter wants to disagree, but he finds that he doesn’t know what he really wants to disagree with. Everything hurts, if he’s honest. From Stephen’s lies to his betrayal to reading about his would-be death.

The problem, of course, is that Stephen’s right. About just about everything.

“So, really, we need to make a choice,” Stephen continues finally, taking a deep breath. “The facts are all here, and we need to act on that. If we keep on the way we are, it’s not going to end well.”

“You’re being a bit over the top--”

Stephen sighs. “We keep each other in check,” he says. “We exist in a balance. If we can’t rely on each other, then we can’t rely on ourselves. What happened at the shopping centre last month -- that was a disaster, Cutter. It can’t happen again. We need to be completely on the same page, or we just need to stop before one or both of us gets killed. And I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but that won’t be one of them.”

“So what are we supposed to do?”

Stephen shrugs. “The way I see it, that’s your call,” he says. “I’ll leave, if you need me to. You’re safer without me than the way we’ve been going.”

It’s not that Cutter hasn’t thought about it -- he has, a lot -- but the plainness of it hits him hard. For all that he’s resented Stephen, the thought of life without him…

Well, that’s never been a thought at all.

He hesitates. “Stephen--”

But Stephen shakes his head. “We can’t ignore it,” he says. “That’s not like you, to ignore the facts. We have to deal with them. If you need time, you can have time. I’ll take a leave of absence and talk to Lester--”

“Stephen, no,” Cutter says, the words out before he has a chance to second-guess them. His heart is pounding now, and he shakes his head. “I don’t want you to go--”

“Then things have to change,” Stephen says flatly. “We have to move on.”

“It’s just...a lot to take in,” Cutter admits. “Did you have to kill yourself in such an awful way.”

“It seemed fitting,” Stephen says. “It was my best idea at the time.”

Cutter lifts his brows.

Stephen blushes. “I can see now that best may be relative.”

After everything, Cutter can only chuckle. “All this,” he says, nodding to the script. “You should have gone into creative writing.”

“I thought about it,” Stephen says. “When I took that first drop slip to Helen, writing was my fallback plan. It never seemed very practical, but spending my life chasing after Helen was never very practical either.”

“Well, you have a knack for it,” Cutter says. “Writing, that is. Not chasing after Helen.”

Stephen laughs.

“It’s not too late, you know,” Cutter ventures after a moment.

Smiling fading, Stephen looks at him cautiously. “Do you want me to leave, then?”

There’s no malice; no accusation.

Stephen just wants to know. He wants answers.

So does Cutter.

The answers don’t matter, though. Not like the questions. “Do you want to go?”

Stephen doesn’t look away. “Notice the script has me staying to the end,” he says. “Whatever that may be.”

“That’s hard to miss,” Cutter says.

“It’s up to you,” Stephen says. “I don’t know how to quit, but I’ll do anything you ask me to.”

“That’s what you told Helen,” Cutter points out.

“I never lied to her,” Stephen says. “And I won’t lie to you again.”

There’s a lot of evidence to the contrary, but people aren’t science. People can’t be reasoned and rationalized. People are illogical and inconsistent. They are difficult and deceptive.

But that’s what makes them so important. Cutter can solve any scientific quandary with his mind.

Here, with Stephen, it’s a question of the heart.

And it doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be logical.

It just has to be exactly what it is.

“Okay,” Cutter says. He takes the script of the past, of the affair and holds it tautly. It’s almost too thick, and it takes some extra oomph, but with enough effort it tears in Cutter’s hands, straight in half.

Stephen watches him, eyes wide. “You’re serious?”

Stuffing the torn script into the back of his jeans, Cutter pulls out the other script, the one of Stephen’s would-be death and does the same thing. “We start over,” he says. “We tell a new story.”

“We don’t know the ending, though,” Stephen warns.

Cutter starts to smile. “I know,” he says, eyes locked on Stephen. “But this time we’ll write it together.”


Comments

Posted by: reggietate (reggietate)
Posted at: June 14th, 2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
stephen-nick-m25

That's a terrific fixit ending! Beautifully done :-D *sighs happily*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:04 am (UTC)
stephen happy

It seems we never run out of fix-its. Thank you :)

Posted by: knitekat (knitekat)
Posted at: June 14th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)

That's a brilliant fixit ending.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:05 am (UTC)
stephen wary

Thank you!

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: June 14th, 2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
helenstephen

Oh HELEN! *shudders*
HELEN: [smiles] You don’t need aptitude. You just need me.

“You should have gone into creative writing.”
Brilliant fix-it.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:05 am (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

Helen is a piece of work. Thanks :)

Posted by: CatHeights (catheights)
Posted at: June 14th, 2014 08:25 pm (UTC)
Stephen Hart Gun

Wow, awesome ending! I love this story!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:06 am (UTC)
stephen's eyes

I'm really glad! Thank you :)

Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: June 15th, 2014 07:16 am (UTC)

I just love this.
Happy ending, yay!

The entire script/story having been written by Stephen, as a look into the possible future was inspired.

Gah, Helen comes across as creepy! And poor Stephen, young and impressionable, sucked in further and further as time goes by. *shudders*

I wanted to cry when he had to give up his tournament. And I spent the rest of the story wanting to slap Helen. *g*

Terrific fixit.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:07 am (UTC)
stephen hair

Happy endings are really what I prefer, so it's nice to come up with so many :) And I was a bit literal in all my writing for this challenge, so the script thing was a bit difficult for me to work with, but I hope it turned out. Preseries Stephen fascinates me, and makes me quite sad.

Thanks!

Posted by: eriah211 (eriah211)
Posted at: June 15th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Helen-Nick

Yay, great, original fix-it! Please, do tell a new story, boys!

"You don’t need aptitude. You just need me."
*shivers*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:07 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

Helen is kind of creepy when you really think about her.

Thanks :)

Posted by: fredbassett (fredbassett)
Posted at: June 16th, 2014 05:54 am (UTC)

Aw, that's lovely! A great way to bring Cutter to his senses! Very movingly written.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
stephen cutter

It seems like there are countless ways to make Cutter get it. And the show couldn't come up with any!

Thanks :)

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: June 16th, 2014 11:56 am (UTC)
Whisper


*cheers at the end line*

I love how Stephen was able to use the script to tell Nick how the affair happened/how manipulative Helen was, giving Nick his answers and then saying his apologies. And considering James Murray studied script writing, I find it a very appropriate format for Stephen to use *G*

Their discussion at the end was very cathartic, and Helen's plans are definitely in trouble now!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

I sort of like the idea of Stephen as a creative writer. Maybe there's more to that...

Thanks :)

Posted by: lsellersfic (lsellersfic)
Posted at: June 17th, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Primeval:Nick/Stephen

Clever end to the story. I like the idea that the end of season 2 is actually a fictionalised account written by Stephen!

"drop slips" - its not a common term in UK academia since in general the modules you take as part of your degree are allocated centrally and, where there is a choice (often relatively little in first and second year, more in third year) this is decided by the student with their personal tutor, rather than with the module lecturer. Changing modules is difficult after about week two of a semester (again because degrees are completed in three years with relatively little slack in the timetable - so dropping a module in week four will mean you need to start another straight away) but will be done again in conjunction with the students personal tutor rather than the module lecturer though there may well be negotiation with the lecturer of the module the student wants to pick up since there will be the question of whether they will be able to make up the material they have missed.

All that said undergraduate degree structures are wildly variable and I wouldn't be at all surprised if somewhere like CMU didn't operate on something closer to the American system, especially if it had a lot of undergraduates who lived locally and were studying part time.

I wrote a bit about UK academia (here) though I didn't go into a lot of detail about undergraduate degrees. But its worth being aware that the system at that level is generally a lot less flexible than it is in the states.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
stephen up

Interesting facts about the academic system. I'll have to make note of it for any future fics I may write. The organization definitely sounds less flexible than in the United States. I suppose with Stephen I always sort of envisioned him not knowing exactly what he wanted to do, but I suppose it would be harder to flit from major to major in the UK. (Here, it's not altogether uncommon.) He just strikes me as someone who doesn't actually know what he wants, since he's been so prone to following people so faithfully.

Anyway, thanks :)

Posted by: Celeste (celeste9)
Posted at: June 19th, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
primeval: stephen w/ gun

Aww. That was lovely, and I'm so glad they are trying to work things through! Excellent fix-it. The idea of Stephen writing out the script of his death is incredibly original, but oh so sad! Oh Stephen, so morbid. *g* I really liked reading this version of Stephen/Helen.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
stephen and cutter

Sometimes it's hard to think of new ways to save Stephen. But I never stop trying :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Cordelia Delayne (cordeliadelayne)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2014 01:13 am (UTC)
[primeval] green shirt stephen

A very clever and surprising fix-it! I think you really nailed Stephen's reasoning.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:20 am (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

Getting into Stephen's head is always a fascinating thing for me.

Thanks :)

Posted by: fififolle (fififolle)
Posted at: June 26th, 2014 07:16 pm (UTC)

Aw! That was really wonderful! Of course Stephen wrote it :D So very clever.

CUTTER: Until then, the dean has officially let me take over her work.
Stephen looks up in surprise. Cutter shrugs.
CUTTER: It was either that or let it be abandoned. No one else wanted her crazy theories, and I couldn’t...I mean, I didn’t want…
STEPHEN: I know.

What an amazing moment.

Super fic, really good.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 12th, 2014 02:21 am (UTC)
stephen broken

Thanks so much :)

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