nietie: (Nick/StephenBW)
[personal profile] nietie

Title: Choices
Word Count: 1,283
Rating: G
Genre: gen
Challenge: the 2016 Art Challenge Fic at [ profile] primeval_denial
Characters: Ethan, Nick, Stephen
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money made. Primeval and its characters belong to Impossible Pictures
Author Notes: inspired by the wonderful art, made by [ profile] eriah211 :
Thank you, [ profile] fredbassett for the beta! x


The creatures were approaching.

Would it hurt a lot?

Would he scream?

Stephen forced himself to keep his eyes open.

The creatures were very near now.


He did close his eyes in the end.

The creatures were too scary.

But there was no pain.

Suddenly there was a tingling feeling, as if he was going through an anomaly.

Then there was a lot of water.


He tried to be brave for Connor, the poor bloke.

"You have to find out what it means, okay? It's on you now," Nick managed to say.

There was so much to say.

There was still so much to do.

But he didn't have the time.

It hurt. It hurt so badly.

He knew the end was near.

"Tell Claudia Brown… Never mind."

He knew it was time to go.

He tried to keep his eyes open.


He did close his eyes in the end.

He was so tired.

But there was no pain.

Suddenly there was a tingling feeling, as if he was going through an anomaly.

Then there was a lot of water.

Nick Cutter was drenched.

He realised he was on his hands and knees, feeling uncomfortably wet and dizzy.

He stumbled whilst getting up and started looking around.

He was in the catacombs of what seemed like a huge complex.

The stone arches and pillars were damp.

There were several anomalies, their shimmering light reflecting against the wet surfaces. From a few of them water kept flowing, turning the floor into a flooding stream.

He must have come through one of those anomalies.

He turned and turned, not knowing what to do.

Then he saw another person.

On his hands and knees, just like he had been moments before.

This person was also drenched, his shirt and jeans clinging to his body.

The man looked up.

Nick gasped in shock.


He ran towards the man, helped him up and hugged him vehemently.


Stephen seemed to be in shock too. "Nick?"

They looked at each other, inquisitively and pleasantly surprised.

"Are you okay?" they asked simultaneously.

They hugged again.

Suddenly Nick heard a clapping sound, as if somebody was applauding.

Nick turned around.

There was another man, standing near one of the anomalies. He must have come through it just seconds ago.

"Heartbreaking scene. Friends reunited at last," the man said.

Although Nick didn't know him, he noticed the cynical tone in his voice.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Ah, let me introduce myself. I am Patrick Quinn. But most of the time I call myself Ethan Dobrowski. It depends on the mood."

"Did you say Quinn?" Nick asked. "Is DC Quinn related… Aren't you…?"

"Yes, I'm his long lost brother. The boy that disappeared in that house. Can't you see the resemblance?"

"Well, being obnoxious seems to run in the family," Nick blurted.

"Quiet! Don't anger him, Cutter," Stephen hissed. "I have a feeling we need him to get out of here."

Patrick grinned. "Don't worry. I can be a good boy."

"Do you know Helen, my wife?" Nick wanted to know.

"Ah, Mrs Cutter. Yes, I had the privilege of meeting her. I was with the Time Tribe then. Like her I decided I didn't like the company and we both knew we couldn't avoid making contact with other humans, people from different timelines. So we both started traveling alone. Once in a while we met up through one of the gateways, I mean anomalies."

"Do you know a way back?" Nick asked.

"Back where?" A sardonic grin appeared on Patrick's face. Maybe he was Ethan now.

"To our own time?" Nick added.

"Well, I can make you an offer," Patrick said, stretching himself and expanding his chest as if he was showing his superiority. As if he was the alpha male. "Or maybe I should call it a choice."

Both Nick and Stephen didn't say anything, but looked at the other man expectantly.

"Okay, okay. I guess it's too soon for cheering and applauding. So here's the deal. As you can see, the anomalies are closing and opening randomly. I can point you towards four anomalies and you have to choose one of them."

"Can't we go through all of them quickly to see what's on the other side and then decide which one to take?" Stephen asked.

"No," was Patrick's short and swift answer.

The sardonic look was back on his face.

"As you can see they're closing now one by one, so you have to act quickly. I'll give you a few hints, though. One of the anomalies goes back to the 1940's. One goes back to the moment just before Stephen's death, one goes back into the near future. I think it's 2020. And the last one goes back to the time dinosaurs roamed the world. Don't ask me what age, because I'm not a scientist."

"What if we go to the future? We're supposed to be dead," Nick asked.

"The future will be different. How different is your responsibility. You two being alive will definitely change things. That will also happen if you go to the 1940's or to the dinosaurs."

"The butterfly effect," Stephen mumbled.

If you go to the present time, Stephen will die, because the anomaly will close immediately and he won't have another opportunity of going through it and surviving, like now… Well, it's up to you, gentlemen," Patrick said and bowed, taking off an imaginary hat. "Far left anomaly 2020, second dinosaurs, then 1940's and right one present time." He then turned and started running, disappearing behind the countless columns of the catacombs within seconds.

Both Nick and Stephen were too surprised to run after him. And then they realised the four remaining anomalies were slowly losing their power.

"Go through the one leading to the present time," Stephen urged Nick.

"But what about you?"

"I'll stay here. I'll risk it. Maybe another anomaly will open and I will go through that one. It's better than being ripped apart by predators."

"No, I can't stand losing you again, Stephen. So the answer is no!"

"But we'll change time!"

"Maybe for the better. We can do good things together. We are a team. We always will be…. I know which one to choose, how about you?"

"Yes, I guess I know which one….. We have to go! The anomalies are fading!"

They grabbed each other by the hand and jumped, just seconds before the anomalies blinked and closed.


"Stephen! Did you see that species?"

Cutter called his companion, whilst standing in the middle of a vast landscape with red rock cliffs. Clouds were covering the sky, but the sun tried to penetrate them, its rays lightening up the cliffs in a  fierce colour in several places.

"Definitely Triassic."

"And definitely Coelophysis. They look amazing," Cutter beamed. "Isn't it magnificent to witness this first hand?"

"I agree," Stephen answered and smiled. "I think we made the right choice by going to this timeline."

"I’m enjoying every moment of it," Cutter said, sighing happily and taking in every inch of the landscape and every minute of what he was experiencing.

"Come on, professor. We have to go on. It'll be dark soon and we have to go back to our campsite soon."

"Yes, let's keep going. Dr Colbert must be waiting for us. We have to uncover these well-preserved fossiled Coelophysis from this quarry. His find here at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, will be important history soon."

Both Stephen and Nick took their archeology hand brushes and went back to work, the light of the seemingly eternal sun shining on their backs in the 1947 landscape.

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