No infringement of the following characters and situations is intended.
Warning: Rated [MA] Mature Adults only. Contains adult themes
Title: Thy fearful symmetry
Series: Jurassic Park III
Web site: http://uk.geocities.com/havisham06/fic.htm
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: MA – Mature Adults only
Pairing: Alan Grant/Billy Brennan
Date: 18 June 2003 -
Disclaimers: The characters of Dr. Alan Grant, Billy Brennan, et al. are the property of Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and (in Alan's case) Michael Crichton. No copyright infringement is intended or inferred.
Warnings: may contain slash, H/C, violence, m/m hanky panky, sex scenes, drug use, nudity, coarse language, horror, dodgy research, adult themes
Spoilers: Jurassic Park III
Summary: Alan and Billy are invited to join a feral dinosaur hunt.
Notes: Sequel to "Here There Be Dragons". Apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (again, sorry, Artie), Doctor Who (The Loch Ness Monster episode), Brotherhood of the Wolf, Dog Soldiers, Badger, The Saint, Tony Curran, Alessandro Nivola and Sam Neill.
This story was inspired by the tales of big cats loose in the Scottish Highlands.
Further inspiration for the piece came from the Avengers episode "The Hidden Tiger", though more from memory than anything else (it's not like I watched it and decided to rip it off, but rather was two thirds of the way through this when I watched the episode and realised: oh dear), with little bits of The Saint, Doctor Who and more thrown in for good measure.
Never the time and the place
And the loved one all together!
- Robert Browning (1812-1889)
The pink spotted sheep huddled together in a tight knot in the top corner of the paddock, bleating fretfully in a climbing chorus of nervous tension, heads flicking this way and that.
The smell of carrion carried on the wind, raising their cries. A thick heavy dragging through the grass sounded a carnivore on the prowl. Heavy footpads and hot breath trotted up and down on the other side of the dry stone wall.
The sheep switched back and forth in a running panicking mob, unable to escape screaming as the predator launched over the wall and lunged into the flock, tearing and snapping.
"You'll be able to see the site over the next rise, Dr Brennan."
Billy, half hanging out the Four Wheel Drive window like an excitable puppy, turned and flashed Alan a grin of disbelief and pure pleasure at the sound of his own title. The novelty hadn't worn off yet, nor had Billy's celebrity.
Billy’s initial notoriety had been the result of the interviews, articles and book offers that Billy had been deluged with after the island, offers that he’d had to accept to pay for his hefty medical expenses. The luxury of saying no, as Alan had done on his own adventure, just wasn’t his.
Billy had taken his doctoral thesis and, at the urging of Ellie's publisher, had re-written it for the mass market, including chapters on his experiences in Isla Surna and Montana. Billy, it turned out, had a gift for popular prose and his book had made the best seller list, with all the attendant publicity and round of talk shows. The little bastard had even sold the film rights for a sum that'd keep Alan's dig open for at least a decade.
Billy had been careful to describe Alan only as his friend and mentor, and Alan hadn't minded the student surpassing the teacher. Not at all really: Billy had earned his success and his delight was infectious and he always gave Alan more credit than was entirely his due. No, the professional jealousies had come from other quarters and Alan had done his best to protect Billy from the worst of it, or at least offer them a united front by publicly supporting Billy's book and the ideas contained therein.
Billy had liased with zoologists, biologists, behavioural scientists, ornithologists, bird watchers and even artists and animators and he'd created a compelling case for the existence and likely lifestyles for those early species that bridged reptile and bird.
It was because of his work that Billy had been invited by the Chinese government to visit the dinosaur fields in the Gobi desert, where many of these birdlike dinosaurs had been found, some not as yet described to science. This was the chance of a lifetime and Billy just couldn't sit still.
Alan, too, felt the warm thrum of excitement. He'd heard that the Chinese had a wealth of beautifully preserved velociraptor remains and he was itching to take a look.
It had been a long road to get here.
Leaving America they'd made Billy take off his arm and send it through to be x-rayed like any piece of luggage. Alan had been incandescent with rage but Billy had stepped easily into his role as intermediary between Alan and whomever he was annoyed with this week and, saying it was no real bother. He had managed to push them through the remaining security checks without Alan being arrested for creating a disturbance, which was no small feat.
Billy had taken his humiliation with good grace but Alan had fumed all the way to China where they met civilisation at last, the Chinese treating Alan and Billy as the honoured guests that they were. The Chinese had laid on the red carpet treatment and Alan had at last been placated, enjoying himself and enduring meeting the endless round of bureaucracy because, like Billy, he had his eyes on the prize, access to the Chinese dinosaur finds.
Alan was glad, however, when they’d finally been left alone, abandoned to their hotel room, the final briefings and press conferences to be done with the next day before the long journey out to the Gobi. Alan could tolerate almost any inconvenience or delay if it was in the name of science. For now, though, they were passing the time in the usual way.
Billy's hand slid up and down the slick and salty and sensitive skin. Alan had his eyes closed, too far gone to be able to watch Billy any more.
Billy chuckled softly.
"What?" Alan cracked an eye open, somewhat concerned that he was being found amusing.
Billy shook his head, but his face was still spilt with a smile, pooling into dimples.
"It's just that I finally get something about phallic temples. I think I do worship your dick as a little god."
"Little?" Alan arched an eyebrow at him.
Billy tried to choke back a giggle, teasing. He rose up to his knees before Alan's proudly standing erection, as though in religious contemplation.
"It's a demanding god, a voracious god, and when I feel the touch of your little god inside me, I do believe I see stars, all of heaven rushing past me and I feel complete, at peace."
"Billy," Alan sighed. "You talk an enormous amount of crap at times. I blame it on that liberal education of yours."
"Oh, you love what I learnt at Berkley," Billy grinned, leaning down to kiss the sweet wine that was oiling the head of Alan's little god.
Alan caught his breath, letting it out in a hiss.
"Keep that up and I'll be the one seeing stars."
Billy glanced up. "You're close?"
Alan nodded tightly.
"Good, I love to watch you."
Billy squirted some of the baby oil into his palm. Their luggage had been gone through at one checkpoint and the baby oil had been questioned. Billy had helpfully provided that Alan suffered dreadfully from chaffing. Alan was only now just about to forgive him. Billy felt Alan tense for a moment and then he swayed his hips as Billy found that magic sweet spot, combining his strokes with a little oral stimulation and Alan came in a series of tight gasps, streaking jets of warm liquid over them both.
Billy wiped his face with the back of his hand, having caught some, pulling back at the last second just so he could watch Alan.
"Messy little god," Billy teased in a soft murmur, sliding beside Alan again, lying length to length, rubbing the spilt seed into Alan's stomach in slow circles.
"Who's messy?" Alan challenged, eyes closed, still humming inside but not about to let that one slide.
"Me," Billy giggled in his ear. They knew it was love because they almost always went to sleep in each other's arms, all warm and sticky. "Hey," he nuzzled Alan's shoulder, not letting him fall asleep yet.
"Give me a minute," Alan asked, still floating pleasantly on soft buzzing tides.
"No," Billy was on him, kissing him.
Alan's eyes opened, bright with mischief and revenge and he rolled Billy under him, pinning him for a moment, then kissing Billy all the way down until Billy was undulating on the bed, eyes closed, emitting soft whimpers under Alan's touch.
Alan arranged a limber and pliant Billy just the way he wanted him, open to him, begging for him in a most wanton way, and Alan had never seen anything more erotic and felt himself throbbing with fire again. Damn if taking a young lover wasn't good for the soul. He was on fire, burning, but he wanted to make Billy scream and thrash first, so he licked all over Billy until he finally kissed the most sacred place of Billy. The place that gave them so much the pleasure, the place where their souls touched and mingled. He licked and sucked and teased and fucked him with his tongue and Billy writhed, almost arcing in spasms of pleasure, his hand turning white as it gripped the metal bars of the bed behind him.
One of Alan's hands covered Billy's mouth, because the kid was loud, the other pushing him over that edge. Billy fell and while he was still falling Alan was inside him, holding him tight and racing with him, rolling and tumbling until they finally came up for air, gasping and shining with a sheen of sweat.
Billy's eyes were dark and soft and Alan kissed each in turn before he settled down into Billy's loose one armed embrace, listening to the beat of Billy's heart slow slightly. Alan's thumb traced that pulse thrumming in Billy's throat, brushing over the claw mark there that hooked up one end, making the white ridge of scar look almost exactly like the Nike symbol. Alan gazed into Billy's eyes and they rubbed noses gently, just for a moment, before they settled down to sleep.
The first time Billy had given Alan a rim job, Alan had realised two things: up until now he'd been living a very conservative and constricted life and second, he never knew another person could touch him like that. Even now he felt a flame flicker through his loins at the memory. Billy had opened him up to so many things, so many new experiences and it must be agreeing with him - he looked at least ten years younger than most of his peers.
He rolled on his side to watch Billy sleeping. Billy had made such a difference to his life. Ten years ago he would have never have risked sneaking off to have sex in airline toilets or any other little hideaway spots they could find, like wicked children.
It was a game, a game he liked very much. When they had a proper bed beneath them, that was special, too. Alan felt he was making up for lost time, that he'd been given this last chance to grab onto life with both hands. He had, and he was enjoying the ride. Wherever the road might take him he would never regret a moment of his time with Billy. Billy was so precious to him, it almost made his heart break. It was during these moments in the dark of night that he knew just how deeply and completely he was in love.
Billy slept on, unaware of Alan watching over him or Alan's thoughts, but always comfortable in the knowledge that he was loved. Alan had made that abundantly clear, and Alan's love had brought Billy through the worst year of their lives, and Billy would never forget that. He could sleep, knowing that Alan was close by and watching over him, and that Alan always would.
It was sometime in the middle of the night when Alan finally unpeeled himself from Billy and forced himself to walk from Billy's nice warm bed to his own distant and ice cold one. He didn't know what he would have said to the Chinese if they'd found them snuggled together like that, other than to make some feeble complaint about the hotel room being unreasonably cold.
Billy sighed and mumbled something, rolling over and falling back to sleep.
Billy slept all through the night now, Alan had bragged to Ellie, knowing he sounded like a demented father but not caring. Billy's night terrors had played havoc with both their sleep patterns for far too long and it was amazing what a difference a decent night's sleep could make.
Not that Billy was entirely free of the nightmares, they just seemed to cluster together whenever he was worried about something. It was an inbuilt Billy barometer, and it always warned Alan to be prepared for a few days of stormy weather ahead: three generations in America had not been enough to mellow the Brennan temper.
Alan wrapped himself in his cold sheets and tried to sleep. He tried not to make out the faint shadows on the wall, the light from the window reflected up onto the ceiling or listen to the traffic noise outside. He tried not to think about what he would see in the Chinese collection, he tried not to get excited like a little boy waiting for Santa Claus, and he tried not to think of where Billy's career would take him.
For now Billy was earning enough from his books and talks and grants to effectively freelance, and his work with the Chinese would provide the basis for his second book. After that, though, Billy might start thinking about tenure, and the museum already had its quota of one palaeontologist on staff.
The morning found them trying to share a sink and a mirror in the bathroom. Billy nudged ahead and bit down on the handle end of his toothbrush, squeezing paste onto it. He did it now all one handed without even thinking about it, but when it came to plugging in his electric shaver he grew flustered.
"It won't take it," he complained darkly to the empty socket that refused to accept his cutting edge brand new Japanese shaver, no matter how much he swore at it and tried to ram it in, sounding far too much like a porn film as he did so for Alan to hide his amusement.
Alan chuckled, turning Billy around gently to face him.
"So let's do this the old fashioned way," he suggested.
He held up his razor and cupped Billy's face tenderly. A bit of lather was smeared about and he was guiding the blade gently across Billy's skin, murmuring that he wanted Billy to look his best on his big day.
Billy's eyes never left Alan's for the entire procedure, remembering when Alan had done this for him when he was still in the hospital, when he had still been too shaky to do it himself. Alan brushed a spot of lather from the tip of Billy's nose fondly and they kissed, a warm meeting of mouths, a friendly greeting of tongues.
Billy's hand came up to thread through Alan's hair, needing the kiss to last longer, frustrated only by the sudden knocking of someone on the door to their suite.
Alan pulled his bathrobe tight around himself, hoping his burgeoning interest in Billy would escape notice, hidden in the folds of his robe. When he finally unlocked the door and opened it a crack he was greeted with such a barrage of Mandarin that he couldn't tell if it were hostile of friendly.
Billy called out an answer in impressively fluent sounding Mandarin as he emerged from the bathroom wearing only a towel and refusing to be putt off by the other man's stares that roamed over every scar and lingered on his amputation.
Billy told the official again, firmly, that they needed another half an hour to be ready, then he repeated to Alan that breakfast was apparently to be a formal affair, involving a briefing and discussion of shared goals and expected outcomes.
Alan rolled his eyes but agreed to the terms, still envious at the way Billy had picked up Mandarin, as opposed to the way he himself struggled with the most basic phrases.
Twenty minutes later and Billy was standing before him, simply dashing in one of his best suits, the dark charcoal number with hidden hints of olive green that picked out the hidden olive in his eyes. His left sleeve hung empty and pinned neatly as Billy didn't feel the need for his artificial arm over breakfast, and Alan was carefully adjusting his tie just so for him.
"Do I look intellectual, you know, business like but smart, like I know what I'm talking about?" Billy was asking Alan, somewhat anxiously.
"I was going to go with ravishing," Alan teased, predatory gleam in his pale blue eyes. "But I think you'll do. They know your work, Billy, and they like it. That's why they asked for you."
"I think they want me to help present some of their discoveries to the West. It's a huge responsibility."
"You'll be fine," Alan soothed, brushing down Billy's suit, then standing back to look him up and down critically, before finally giving an approving nod. Billy would charm them all and then they could finally get down to the real work of looking at dinosaurs.
"I think we should be more careful - we don't want to be mistaken for practicing homosexuals," Billy warned, only half joking, referring to that morning’s near miss.
"Practicing?" Alan's eyebrow went up. "I thought I had it just about down by now."
Billy giggled. "You know damn well what I mean."
"Don't worry," Alan soothed again, knowing the source of Billy's fretting. They pressed their foreheads together tenderly. "Everything will be fine. You're the best and they know it. There's nothing to worry about." He slipped a hand inside Billy's coat and tweaked a nipple through shirt.
"Hey," Billy pulled back, rubbing his chest. "No fair."
Alan just twinkled at him and Billy shook his head.
"You're incorrigible, you know that, don't you," Billy groused. "I shouldn't have to be the grown up."
"But you do it so well," Alan smirked.
Billy shot him another look but the knock on the door interrupted whatever he was about to say.
Usually visiting palaeontologists didn't warrant an official press conference, but Dr Alan Grant and Dr William Brennan were another category entirely, they were celebrity palaeontologists and they'd seen real live dinosaurs, albeit genetically spliced ones, and had lived to tell the tale.
Two famous scientists had come to work on the Gobi fields, and the Chinese were both impressed and curious. Alan just wanted to get out to the desert, but he knew this had to be done: anything to grease the wheels, as it were.
The stood and fixed grins on their faces as flashbulbs popped and their interpreters had long conversations on their behalf. Every so often someone would shake their hand or clap them on the shoulder. They had no idea why.
Billy grinned. "At least I'm custom built for diplomatic purposes: there's just no way I can greet people or eat with the wrong hand."
Alan tilted his head, conceding the point. He was glad Billy was able to joke about it. An unspoken part of him still grieved for the whole and uninjured Billy of his memories, for the hand that had gently threaded fingers with his own, that had traced his lips, and more. Billy was capable and adaptable and he'd learnt a lot as an outpatient on how to deal with his life one handed, but he would never be able to do the climbing and heavy digging that were a part of his chosen career, at least not safely or adequately, without assistance. There were a great many things he could still do, or manage, if he wanted to, but he would never be able to wrap his arms around Alan ever again.
It reminded Alan of their mortality, of how much time they'd wasted playing silly, stupid games. They'd danced around their flirtation when they should have grabbed each other with both hands, there and then.
Billy fidgeted. His left arm still itched at times, especially if he thought of it, and there was nothing more maddening than an itch you could never and would never be able to scratch ever again. Billy glanced at his watch, the classy silver one Alan had bought him for Christmas, now strapped to his right wrist. He was impatient, and nervous, worried that at any moment somebody was going to whip the rug from right under him and tell him it had all been a terrible mistake and send him packing back to America without a job or career prospects.
Alan was reaching out to rest a supportive hand on Billy's shoulder when the door to the main hall opened, and he let his hand fall away.