Title: Primeval InterSeason - Predestination Paradox
Sequel to: Primeval Season Two
Universe: Time Child Series
Characters: Chloe/Ben, Dr. Lindsay Jenkins
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: After emerging from the mysterious anomaly that rescued her from a grisly fate in the cage room, Chloe finds she has traveled back three years into the past. She's alone, injured, scared, and not sure what to do. Then she runs into Ben.
"So...your boyfriend's name is Stephen."
Ben's low voice broke into Chloe's horrified realization, her eyes widening as she twisted on the sofa as much as her injured ankle resting on the ottoman would allow, staring up at the man she suspected had come looking for her three years in the future when his uncle had called and told him she was in the hospital. The man whom she'd pretended to not know. The man who'd known she'd been lying. Who'd known she'd been pretending not to remember him. And he knew this because he'd met her already. The present wouldn't change because she'd already gone back and changed it up to that point. It was why time travel was such a little bitch. There were just so many variables... She'd thought that because she was here she was doing something horrible to the future but part of the reason the future was the way it was was because she'd already come to the past and met Ben.
"Why haven't you called him for help?" Ben asked softly, hands clenched at his side. "Why hasn't he called you to make sure that you are fine? Doesn't he find it weird that you've just disappeared?"
That meant she was supposed to come to the past through that anomaly in the cage room...because she already had.
"You've been hurt, are possibly in danger, and yet you won't go to the hospital, won't call for him." Ben continued, voice gravelly.
What had her father called it again?
"If he's anything like you've told me then he should be more proactive, should be searching all over for you." Ben growled.
The Predestination Paradox? Was that what it was?
"I want to help you but you need to trust me." Ben declared earnestly.
Wasn't the Predestination Paradox theory where it was believed you were supposed to do something because you'd done it already? Or something along those lines?
"Are you even listening to me?" Ben frowned in her direction.
She brought a hand to her head, which was suddenly throbbing viciously as it tried to understand things way over her level of comprehension.
In the future Ben must have thought she was such a little ungrateful bitch! He'd helped her twice and she'd-!
Chloe couldn't keep the little horrified cry from her lips as she lowered her head and covered her face in mortification with her hands.
"Chloe?" Ben was kneeling besides her, a hand on her shoulder, his worried gaze heavy on her. "What's wrong?"
She couldn't tell him! She couldn't start to try and explain why in three years she'd be such an utter bitch to him! And she hated it! She hated herself. Hated her mother. The anomalies...everything and everyone.
The blonde tore her hands from her face, knowing she looked as miserable as she felt. "I'm sorry."
His eyebrows touched for a second in slight confusion as his hazel gaze met hers. "For what?"
"I can't say why." She whispered, voice thick. "But I need you to know that it's not because I'm being a bitch. I'm really, extremely grateful."
Ben continued to eye her oddly. "Okay."
And it hurt even more how he just accepted without asking questions. She realized she wanted him to ask questions. Wanted him to push. Wanted him to be an ass. Wanted-wanted-she didn't know what she wanted.
"Chloe." Ben reached up and cupped her jaw, causing her to look at him. "Don't worry, okay? I've got this. I can handle it."
She could feel he was trying to tell her something yet what exactly the message was she didn't know.
And she was afraid to ask.
There was something here, something different, something...
She leaned into his hand as it warmed her cheek.
"Are you in trouble?" Ben asked her, soft yet determined. "Who hurt you?" His eyes narrowed. "Was it Stephen?"
Her eyes widened in horror. "No!" Had she given him that impression? "Stephen would never hurt me!"
A flash of what seemed so very much like jealousy flashed over Ben's features at her ardent defense, yet he pushed it away. "Who did this then? Uncle Lindsay says that you were knocked unconscious and you were obviously running from something, someone." His hazel gaze entreated her trust. "Let me help you."
She couldn't tell him, he couldn't help her even if she did. "I'm okay now."
His eyes narrowed slightly. "Chloe, I know you're confused and scared and don't like asking for help if you feel you can handle it on your own, but you need to know that you can trust me."
"How?" She whispered.
He tilted his head slightly. "How what?"
"How would you know that about me?" She kept her gaze on his, confused. "You don't know me."
He lowered his gaze, a strange expression fluttering over his features.
Chloe's heart fluttered as she tried desperately to remember why she should be pulling away from him.
Ben's hazel gaze darkened as he seemed to drink in her every feature, his hand sliding up to comb his fingers in her hair. "I like your hair." And yet he wasn't looking away from her eyes. "It's different."
She didn't even realize he'd side-stepped her question. "Thanks."
"Was it your idea?" He asked curiously, curling her locks around his fingers.
She didn't know. By the time she'd merged with the Chloe of this timeline-or took her place-she'd looked like her, hair and all. She didn't know if the multicolored streaks were her idea or someone else's. "I can't remember anymore...how I remember it they just seemed to be there one day. But it's growing on me."
He nodded, reaching with his free hand to brush a black streak out of her face, the tips of his fingers brushing against her skin.
Shivers of pleasure raced up her spine.
Who was moving closer to the other?
She felt the heat on her skin as she began to tremble slightly.
The room seemed lighter.
"Promised myself I wouldn't do this again." He whispered to himself almost too softly to be understood before slipping a hand to cup the back of her neck and bringing her towards him in a deep kiss.
Chloe gasped, the action opening her mouth to the invasion as her eyes fluttered close. Heat spread throughout her body, electricity at her fingertips as she reached out and wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing him closer without even realizing she had. She arched into him, ignoring the throbbing in her ankle as she kissed Ben back with just as much intensity as he her. She'd imagined finding Ben in this timeline, imagined kissing him, imagined so many things...and it was shocking that kissing Ben wasn't at all as she'd fantasied. She knew that this wasn't her Ben, the Ben from the right timeline, she knew this was a completely different person altogether.
She could taste it on his lips, the difference.
And she liked it.
This Ben was all sorts of odd and contrasting her mental picture of what he should be, and the mystery just made her attraction heighten painfully.
Oh, what she wouldn't give to just be able to stay here and get to know this man.
Ben growled into her mouth as he leaned in closer, pressing her into the sofa.
Chloe tightened her hold on him, desperate to have him near.
Her trembling grew.
Suddenly something exploded loudly outside, screams from the pedestrians breaking into the moment.
They pulled away, staring at each other in a slight trance, then Ben reached forwards and gave her another deep kiss before pulling away, going to the window and pulling the curtain aside, staring down at the street.
Chloe just sat on the sofa, breathing erratic, heart racing, a dark blush climbing up her breasts.
"What the-?" Ben frowned at whatever it was he was seeing before turning to Chloe. "I'll be right back."
He turned and jogged towards the door, deactivating the alarm system to open the door and then setting it once more as he left, the door closing behind him.
Chloe brought her fingers to her lips, closing her eyes as she relived the kiss.
Suddenly something sounded in the kitchen.
Eyes flying open, Chloe frowned as she grabbed a crutch and slowly, painfully, stood. Something inside of her throbbed, and for a second she wanted to believe it was merely her heart still reacting to the kiss, yet when a bright light suddenly appeared to be shining out of Ben's kitchen, Chloe couldn't deny the truth anymore.
The blonde slowly made her way to the kitchen and stood in the doorway, gazing at the anomaly floating before her, throbbing with life.
It was that moment she knew for sure that her mother was behind all of this.
Helen's words, her comment about changing things and walking through the anomaly with Ben instead of doing so alone, rang hauntingly in her ears. She'd done all of this as an experiment, to see how things would change, tempting Chloe by using her weakness for Ben so she'd do this for her.
And Chloe hated how much she was tempted to do so, to wait until Ben returned and somehow get him to go through the anomaly with her.
But she wouldn't do this.
She hadn't done this.
In the future Ben hadn't been a part of the team, and if she'd already gone to past in that timeline then it meant that she'd been stronger than Helen's temptations, than her own feelings.
She'd walked through the anomaly alone.
A selfish part of her wanted the anomaly to close, to disappear and leave her here, but the young woman knew somehow that her mother had opened it for her and it wouldn't close until she stepped through it.
Making her way slowly towards it, Chloe paused by the fridge, staring at the small writing pad and pen magnet on it. She hesitated, two sides warring within her, before the blonde hobbled closer and pulled the pen free, yanking the cap off and writing on the pad.Ben: I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your help, but I have to go now, and I'm sorry that I have to do so without saying goodbye.
Her gaze went to the pulsating ball of light and life.Please thank your uncle for all of his kindness. And please remember, the way I act, it's not out of ingratitude. - Chloe
Sighing, Chloe put the pen back to the fridge, before turning to the waiting anomaly, and walking through it.
Nick sat in his bedroom, going through the pictures he'd retrieved from Stephen and Chloe's flat before the rest of the things left were discarded. Stephen had somehow gotten his contacts to help him smuggle Baby out of England with him when he'd left for only god knew where, and had left mostly everything else behind. They couldn't find him or where he'd gone, but Nick could understand his need to get away from everything here, everything that reminded him of Chloe. But Nick wasn't that strong. That was why he'd gone to the flat and removed anything Chloe had left behind when she'd moved out, which were mostly pictures.
He needed the pictures.
He'd had so few of his own, and now that she was gone-.
Nick's hand tightened around the picture frame in his hand, a tear trailing down his cheek and making the journey through the air before landing on a picture of his daughter grinning mischievously and giving him bunny ears without his knowledge.
He ignored the sound of keys in the lock, the door opening.
Jenny, Abby and Connor had taken turns coming over to force him to eat and make sure he hadn't done something stupid.
"Cutter?" Jenny called, footsteps and whispers heading towards him.
"Careful." Connor whispered to someone. "You okay?"
"You're gonna hurt her Connor you're so clumsy." Abby hissed.
"Oi!" Connor complained.
Nick ignored them as Jenny entered the bedroom.
"Cutter?" Jenny cleared her throat. "Cutter, we have a surprise for you."
He didn't even look up.
There was some movement and then someone hobbled towards him. "Dad?"
Nick's eyes widened and his body froze, dropping the picture as he turned to see Chloe leaning hard against a crutch, giving him a worried look.
Jenny smiled. "Look who walked through our last anomaly."
"Dad?" Chloe's eyes were narrowed in worry. "Are you okay?"
Nick didn't remember standing but suddenly he was holding her in his arms tightly and crying into her hair as he refused to let go.
She didn't hesitate, letting her crutch fall to the ground as she hugged him back, relying on him to keep her standing and steady. "Are you okay?"
He cried harder, held her tighter.
He didn't know how this was possible, but he didn't care.
He had his little girl back home.
That was all that mattered.
"All I'm saying is that Nessie could very well be some aquatic dinosaur who swam in through an anomaly, spent some time in Loch Ness, and then went back out before the anomaly closed." Chloe declared as they sat in Nick's living room, just enjoying the fact that they were all alive and together. "It would explain why there have been so many sightings, and some pictures, and yet any exploration of Loch Ness has found no proof of the 'monster' that so famously is supposed to live there."
"No, don't be giving Connor more ideas." Nick scolded.
"She's got a point though, Cutter." Jenny declared over the Chinese they'd ordered.
"I agree." Abby declared, chopsticks in hand. "Who's to say Nessie isn't something like a Plesiosaur who swam through an anomaly?"
"Why haven't I thought about this before?" Connor whispered to himself, horrified. "It's so bloody obvious!"
"Now see what you've done?" Nick raised an eyebrow at Chloe.
Chloe smiled as she looked between the members of her family, because that was exactly who these people were. Family.
Stephen and Baby were missing, and Chloe tried to fight back the guilt at knowing that her disappearance was to blame for Stephen leaving everything he loved behind. No one could find him or Baby, and while they'd insisted they wouldn't give up searching for him they'd admitted that they doubted he'd let himself be found if he didn't want to be.
Chloe wished that things hadn't ended so poorly between them, that they could have worked through their issues and returned to the friendship they'd once had.
But maybe that was impossible in this timeline. Maybe-and a part of her felt terribly guilty for this-maybe this was better.
Still, a part of her felt as if this wasn't the last that she'd seen of Stephen Hart.
Nick reached out and played with his hair, obviously still trying to convince himself that she was really there.
Chloe smiled at her father, threading her fingers through his and squeezing tightly.
She'd tell him about what she believed was Helen's part in the whole anomaly part later.
For right now, she basked in her family, and the comfort and love they showered.
It was a miracle that the girl had returned to them alive and in one piece. They'd been incredibly lucky and while uncanny luck seemed like a trait this ragtag group of difficult people possessed he knew that they couldn't rely on luck anymore. They needed to be protected, whether they wanted to be or not. They'd nearly lost the yankee to a terrible death, and they'd lost Stephen to his mourning. All of this could have been avoided if things had been different, if he hadn't let himself believe that they could take care of themselves.
In his office, long after everyone else had gone to their homes, James Lester stared at the different files on his desk. He was going to bring together the best security team seen in the Queen's kingdom and he'd make them stick to Cutter and his group like ticks.
He went through the different men he'd had recommended to him to lead the security detail, and while many of them were quite fine candidates one stood above all the rest.
Lester reached for Captain Becker's file, reluctantly impressed by the many commendations and awards he'd won. His superiors praised him. And there was this look in his eyes that Lester liked. This Becker fellow looked like someone who could go head to head with Nick Cutter.So...Captain Becker it is.
Shaking his head, Lester continued to read up on his new Head of Security.