Just a very tiny snippet today I'm afraid as I was too tired and miserable last night to write anything and I really should try and take my time and do a decent job of it. So I've hit another Acme blank spot. I should also apologise for a bit in yesterday's fic. I'm trying to stay with known bird behaviour but I just couldn't go past a good cattle mutilation. I hope you'll forgive the indulgence. Blame it on too much X Files at an impressionable age (yeah, right).
No infringement of the following characters and situations is intended.
Warning: Rated [MA] Mature Adults only. Contains adult themes
Title: Here there be Dragons
Series: Jurassic Park III
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, drug use, nudity, coarse language, horror, dodgy research, adult themes
Spoilers: Jurassic Park III
Summary: Going out on a limb here, ahem, as the boys deal with the scars from Isla Surna.
Billy snuffled and rolled over and found Alan still watching him. He scrubbed at his face, trying to get back some of the feeling the pillow had pressed out of it.
Alan ran a finger lightly down the length of Billy's nose, his old shorthand way of saying 'I love you'.
Billy was gazing up at him with those soulful, wounded and drug darkened eyes but Alan couldn't meet those eyes, not just yet, so he turned back to his journal.
"I've been reading up on those sightings you'd found on the net, all the way up the coast and as far inland as Kansas. Even if some of them are true -"
"They are," Billy answered fatally.
"We don't even know for sure if they're warmblooded enough to survive this far north," Alan reasoned. "Most of InGen's records obviously went through the shredder so we have no idea of what they did, what they made or how they made it."
"They're warmblooded," Billy answered in a quiet, strained voice. His eyes were gazing back to the island and Alan didn't press for any more detail than Billy was willing to give.
Billy could feel Alan's question still hanging in the air, and he knew what he'd seen was important, even if he spent every minute of his life trying to forget it. He stared up at the trailer ceiling, studying the little dots in the insulation as if he'd never seen them before, a furrow creasing his brow as he let the memory back to the surface.
"They had me in a death roll in the river, you know, like crocodiles do, trying to drown me. I was scrabbling against the river bed, trying to find a rock or a stick - it's amazing just how hardwired that fight response is - and my hands found a metal bar or a pole that must have washed down the river. I shoved it up at them with everything I had. I tore through the wing of one of them, I felt its blood spurt all over me, and it was warm. I hit it again, smacking it in the head and ripping a hole through its other wing, and it went down, and they went after one of their own and left me alone. It was floundering, and I had a big metal stick."
He closed his eyes, taking a slow, shaky breath.
"They have warm blood," he reiterated, almost in a whisper, the memory having drained the life from him.
"That's great, Billy, that's just great, we can use that," Alan patted his shoulder, more teacher than lover, finding it easier to praise Billy's contribution to science rather than remembering the bright red blood that had spread out and stained the water as the creatures had started ripping Billy apart. He found himself completely unable to speak on his lover's fight for survival: it was still too vivid for either of them. He knew it had been a close run thing and he didn't want to dwell on it any more than Billy did.
"Not so great," Billy reminded, jaded with exhaustion. "The bastards won't stay in the tropics like you'd hoped."
No, Alan realised with creeping dread. They wouldn't.
Billy opened his eyes again, burning through Alan like a laser.
"No one took any of those reports of impossibly large birds seriously because the government hasn't told anyone some of the creatures got loose, have they?"
"No," Alan admitted. Billy had missed all the debriefing sessions dealing with that very issue, their breach of international laws and territory, the cost of the rescue on the American taxpayer. Alan had almost envied Billy, lying unconscious in a hospital bed, just for a moment, for missing out on the experience of being ground to a fine powder by the mill wheels of bureaucracy.
"Do you think they know? That they're migrating, breeding?"
Alan shook his head. "I don't know, Billy. I honestly don't know. Certainly nobody told me - you have to believe me on that."
"I believe you, Alan," Billy repeated tiredly, by rote.
"I only wanted to make the nightmares go away," Alan offered, contrite.
"I know," Billy acknowledged in the same weary voice.
He rolled onto his side. "What are you going to do?"
"Tell someone. Somebody has to clean up InGen's mess. It's gone on too long, maybe too long. They're breeding, and they're at the top of the food chain."
Alan glanced at Billy, suddenly realising Billy wasn't giving him his complete attention.
Billy shook his head slightly. "Ssssh, listen."
Alan listened, but all he could hear was the wind and the nickering of Billy's horse, close by.
"I don't hear anything," Alan tried to soothe, being able to see how rubbed raw and overly sensitive Billy must be, having forced himself to remember the attack. Billy was overly skittish these days, like a nervous cat, and the slightest noise or rustle would startle him and he'd just tense up, eyes huge, ready to flee.
Alan could see Billy was still listening intently, the furrow between his brows deepening.
"It's just the wind," Alan tried to reassure him.
Alan had barely finished speaking when the sound of something large swooped down on the trailer and landed with a thumping clatter. Slowly and ominously it began to shuffle across the trailer roof with heavy footsteps.
"Still say it's the wind?" Billy accused bitterly, sitting up and beginning to exhibit the first signs of full on panic.
"Don't be silly. It's probably just a large owl or something. I'll go and check, and show you it's nothing. You'll see." Alan slipped from the bed and stood up.
"No, please, Alan, don't go," Billy begged him. Billy was visibly shaking now, slipping horribly into waking nightmare, in spite of himself.
"It's alright, Billy," Alan hushed as though he were a parent about to check under the bed in the middle of the night. "I'll go outside and I'll show you it's nothing. It's probably just a bird and it sounds louder than it should because it's night, like the horse, remember?"
Even so, for all his words, Alan slipped his revolver in his pocket as he grabbed his torch. He glanced back to Billy, but Billy was huddled up in the middle of the bed, rocking himself mournfully back and forth, too terrified to move. The poor kid.
Alan opened the door to their trailer cautiously with a long squeak. Billy's cold fear was infectious and Alan wasn't immune to the dread of seeing one of those creatures again, either. There was a special something about the fear of being hunted and running for your life that never left you. It echoed forever and every time you felt trapped or nervous you'd taste that dull metal tang in your mouth and feel your heart start to beat faster. Alan felt it now, sending shivering spiderwebs of ice twisting all through him as he stepped down onto the ground and carefully turned around, holding his torch up high.
Something rustled and scraped across the trailer and Alan eased the gun out of his pocket and flicked off the safety. Trying his best to keep both torch and firearm steady, he slowly tracked a pale circle of light up the side of the trailer and towards the roof.