No infringement of the following characters
and situations is intended.
Warning: Rated [MA] Mature Adults only. Contains adult themes
Title: Working Without A Net
Series: Jurassic Park III
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pairing: Alan Grant/Billy Brennan
Date: 18 July 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: Dinosaurs aren't the deadliest creatures on the planet.
Previously: In this series Billy carries the scars of Isla Sorna, most noticeably in the loss of his left arm, but also emotionally. Now new horrors are about to be piled upon old and even if Billy survives, his relationship with Alan might not.
They were lined up against the old wall, all of them filthy, near naked in underwear or jeans and freezing cold, blinking at the sudden daylight. The wall behind them was splattered dark brown paint, only Billy knew it wasn't paint. The yard in front of them was littered with crates and drums, the ruins of vehicles and bales of wire. Billy knew this was serious.
Kalashnikovs were rattled and made ready and pointed in their direction.
"Which one of you is the spy?" was demanded of them again.
No man would look at his brother. They all stared straight ahead.
"We know one of you is a spy. Give him up and the rest of you can go free."
Still they stayed silent.
The man demanding answers nodded to his first mate, who swung his rifle, fired, and Geoff fell down dead.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!" That was Terry.
Billy blinked away the spray of blood that had struck him across the face and stared straight ahead, straight down the barrel.
"Again, which one of you is the spy."
The young man in front of him, much younger than Billy, took careful aim.
"Stop - stop this!" That was Iain. "Just leave him alone. He's a palaeontologist, he doesn't know anything."
"Good." The man approved. The gun dropped from Billy and Iain was dragged away between two of the rebel soldiers. They didn’t say anything, they just watched him being taken away. They knew there was little chance of ever seeing him alive again.
Billy sank back against the wall, just thankful that it wasn't him. He couldn't find the energy to care about anything else, at least, not here, not now, not even for Iain.
They were herded back into their dark little boxes at gunpoint, the doors slammed shut and locked behind them. Terry was sobbing noisily next door and all Billy wanted to do was to shut him up, but he just kept sitting there, slumped in his corner, listening to Terry sob through the wall and the muffled sounds of Iain being slowly tortured, until both noises finally stopped. Then, at last, he could curl up and go to sleep, exhausted.
Alan had buried himself in his work at last, finding some strange comfort in the familiar. He lost himself in sketching out illustrations of where and how the Velociraptors in Mongolia might have lived and died. Line drawn raptors played and tumbled across his page and he forgot himself until it was very late. He started with the sudden slap of guilt, the realisation that he hadn't thought of Billy for several hours.
Morning came and the door to his prison was rattled. Iain was thrown back in their cell at Billy's feet, and Billy knew with cold certainty that he was next. Iain was smeared head to foot with blood, piss and vomit. His skin was burned and beaten, his face swollen horribly. He startled Billy by flopping like a fish, groaning and moving. Fuck, he was still alive.
The dangerous man, flanked by two young and dumb and over eager flunkies with AKs stood over Iain, ready to administer the coup de grace.
"Admit you are the spy or we will ask your friend next."
Iain coughed, bubbling up more blood between his lips.
"I've told you, I don't know anything about anyone being a spy. We're a BBC film crew. We do nature documentaries, for fuck's sake."
"So you say."
The gun was turned on Billy.
Iain coughed again, squinting at them through the one eye that wasn't entirely swollen shut.
"Don't be so bloody stupid," he snapped, sounding like a school teacher. "He's an American and he's on television. Put a bullet in his brain and they'll fucking raze your country to the ground."
They considered this for a moment.
"You're right," they agreed and the gun turned on Iain and fired.
Iain jerked back in Billy's arms like a crash test dummy, then lay still, a small bloody hole above his left eye and a gaping exit wound that had splattered all over Billy.
"No, God, no!" Billy screamed, shaking Iain as if he could wake him up, and they shut the door on him, letting his screams echo hollowly through the building.
Iain's body had long since grown cold. Huddled in the other corner of the tiny room, Billy scrabbled at the brickwork to find where Iain had hidden the phone. He found it at last and let out a rush of breath he'd been holding when he tested it and found it still had some battery life left.
He sent two messages only. A curt statement to the number Iain had dialled, telling them what had happened. After a long pause to consider his actions, he dialled a second number with a shaking hand, a number he knew by heart, and, after hearing the annoyed answer, he just spoke three words: "I love you." Then he hung up, tears in his eyes, unable to say anything else.
He hid the phone away again and then just doubled over into soundless sobs.
Alan had snatched up the phone after fishing for it in the empty passenger seat beside him and answered it with one hand on the wheel, annoyed and distracted. It took a few seconds for the cryptic message to filter through. The three harshly whispered words he heard caused him to nearly rear end the car in front of him.
The phone went dead a second later and Alan just stared at it, gaping at it like an idiot, then he pulled off the road, swerving suddenly to much annoyed beeping around him, rocking to a stop on the embankment, hands shaking and sweating too much to drive.
He sat and waited and waited and waited for another call. Darkness fell, and still no call came. Finally, he gave up, drove home, let himself into his cold, empty house. He sat by his phone for the longest time, waiting for another call, but there were no more calls. Either the batteries in Billy’s phone had gone dead, or something worse had happened. He tried not to think about that.
Alan curled up alone in his bed, his hand cradling his cell phone, hoping against hope that Billy would call again. He stayed awake for as long as he could, but that call never came.
Alan jerked awake in the morning and reached for his phone, fingers trembling when he saw the batteries had gone dead. He reached for his landline, but there were no messages. Still with shaking hands he dialled another number. At the risk of tying up the line, he called Ellie.
"Ellie, he's alive. You've got to help me do something - please."
"He called me, last night. Somehow he got a phone and he called me."
“Alan?” She had to ask him to repeat himself: he was speaking too fast.
"He's still alive," Alan managed, feeling his eyes well up with tears. "He found a phone, somehow, and he called. It was Billy, I know it was. Oh, god, Ellie, he sounded - we've got to get him out of there."
Ellie was about to ask Alan how he knew it had been Billy, but thought better of it."
"What did he say?"
"He said goodbye, Ellie. Oh, fuck, you've got to get him out of there, please."
Ellie bit her lip, then delivered him the bad news.
"Alan, there isn't going to be a rescue."
"Mark's trying, but there are problems."
"Problems, what problems?"
"There's a situation. The rebels are making accusations that some of the film crew are spies."
Then Alan realised.
"They're not wrong, are they. One of the hostages is a spy."
Alan grew furious, as his realisation ticked on further.
“So they’re just going to leave them there, to prove a point?”
"They think Billy's a spy."
Alan snorted: "Billy's no spy."
"They think you're one, too."
Alan was flabbergasted. "Do I look like a spy?"
"The State Department has never been happy with your involvement with the islands, the diplomatic incidents with Costa Rica or having to rescue you. You're considered a nuisance at best and at worst -"
“I am not a fucking spy and I had nothing to do with those damn islands. They misused my research, that’s all.”
“Yes, but they paid you for it, and your were on site, twice.”
“This is because of InGen? Because bloody Hammond has embarrassed the US government they’re going to let Billy die?”
"Ellie, they're going to kill him. You've got to get him out of there."
"You get him out of there or I'll go public."
"Alan, no, Alan?" Ellie called down the line but the phone had gone dead.
The door rattled and his rations were kicked into his cell.
“Hey, Dino Boy, your friend doesn’t smell so good now,” the guard taunted, laughing, before shutting the door again, rattling the lock.
They’d left Iain’s body in the room with him, and it was now bloated and crawling with maggots.
Billy huddled on his side of the room, too sick to eat his rations, trying not to think of Iain, or anything.
Alan found himself staring at the table of trays full of tiny bone fragments without seeing them. Worse, he had no real recollection of how long he had been standing there. He did know however that these bone fragments, once so important to him, were meaningless. His mind and heart were elsewhere.
He sunk into his chair, an old leather office chair on coasters, almost older than he was, the arm rests worn smooth and shiny and almost worn through in patches.
Worn through, that's how he felt. He gazed about his office, cluttered with the debris of his work, and the life dedicated to it. His life, Billy's life. There was Billy's coffee cup, abandoned on a desk. Riding a pile of journals was a small portable stereo that was also Billy's, with a few CDs scattered about nearby. There was Billy's chair, Billy's chipped old cup full of pens and markers, only a third of which or less that actually worked, and Billy's books and notes scattered about.
Billy spent a lot of his time here, in Alan's office, picking over bones, rummaging through Alan's library or simply just the two of them, sitting back, drinking coffee or something stronger, shooting the breeze.
Fuck, he missed that. Billy had spent less and less time here, now that he was his own man. Now Billy was gone, and the horrible thought that these few relics would be all Alan would have to remember him by shook Alan to the core, squeezing his gut, making it hard to breathe. So the cup, the CDs and the rest of Billy's detris lay untouched: sacred, superstitious objects, and the bones lay on the work table, ignored and uncared for.
Please, please, he pleaded once more, bring him back to me.
Billy had been asleep, an exhausted dreamless sleep, when he was shaken awake by the sound of gunfire. There were short bursts at first, then the firing seemed to come from everywhere, followed by the deep booming bass of artillery fire. The building shuddered, scattering fetid dust down onto him. Billy huddled against the far wall, hearing the down of gunfire come closer. His breath came in rapid gulps and he smelt the stink of Iain's blood again. The door slammed open and an enormous burst of light blinded him. Everything went bright white and loud.
" They've got him."
There was a long pause before Alan could breathe again.
"Is he -"
Alan closed his eyes. Thank you.
"Where is he?"
"They airlifted him and the rest of the survivors back to Britain. He's in a military hospital at the moment, under observation."
A memory of Billy lying in a hospital bed surrounded by a mess of wires, more dead than alive, fell unbidden into Alan's mind.
"How is he?"
"I don't know, that's all I could find out. They're busy debriefing him, so I assume he's conscious and able to talk."
"Can I see him?"
"It's still a diplomatic issue -"
"To hell with that. Find out where they're keeping him. I need to be there."
"I'll do my best."
Alan bowed his head, eyes shut tight. He heard the tired stress in her voice. He had no idea what she must have gone through to get this information to him.
"Ellie, I'm sorry," he managed at last. "Thankyou for everything. Just let me know when I can see him, okay?"
"I will, Alan, I promise."
He let the phone fall lax from his hand back onto the receiver. He leant back
against the wall, eyes still closed, as though the wall were the only thing
holding him up. It was. Then he started sobbing. Quietly at first, and then
huge rolling gulps as he coughed up all the agony of the last few weeks. Slid
down the wall, heaving up great wracking sobs that echoed through his empty