Title: The Benefits of Mortal Danger
Archive: Britslash, others with permission
The Benefits of Mortal Danger
Dr Alan Grant dropped his head back against the damp tree truck and
closed his eyes. Opposite him, the young graduate student he'd
persuaded to come out here into hell with him had assumed an exact
Alan breathed a lung full of forest air. "I'm sorry."
Billy opened his eyes, looking straight at his mentor. "For what?"
"For dragging you out here."
Still Grant kept his lids shut, his head back. Half his brain was
listening out for any frightening noises that might suggest that their
current refuge had become a dangerous place to be.
"If I hadn't asked you to come along, you'd be back at the site."
"Missing all this excitement. Missing seeing the real thing." Billy
reached out, touching the backs of his sweaty fingers to Alan's hands
where they were linked around his knees. "Missing you."
Alan cracked open one eye. "Billy...." He pulled his hand back, but no
words presented themselves. So he tried for a small smile instead.
For a moment the silence that fell between them was punctuated only by
the rustle of leaves, as small, unseen dinosaurs passed through the
undergrowth below them.
Billy smiled to himself. The almost embarrassed look on the face of the
palaeontologist across from him was wonderfully familiar. Each and
every time he saw it, it touched his heart.
"Out here and you're still embarrassed," Billy teased gently.
"I'm not embarrassed." Alan shrugged slightly, smiling that half-smile
that he used when he wanted the world to think he was in complete control.
"Yes, you are. Even now, when the only ones to see are two... nutcases.
And a hoard of man-eating reptiles."
Alan tilted his head, meeting Billy's intense gaze full on. "I wish you
weren't here," he stated seriously. Billy's face fell and he looked away.
A few seconds later, Alan's fingers reached out and returned the touch
Billy had offered a minute or so before.
"I don't want to lose you."
Billy turned his hand, grasping Alan's as it slid into his palm.
"You're not going to. I'm not like one of those maniacs that flew us in
here. I've had the best teacher." He smiled, and it was finally
mirrored on Alan's face. "We're in our element here, you know."
"You've never been in this kind of element before! Fossils don't eat
you on sight. Fossils don't chase you through the forest or pack-hunt
you in the undergrowth. I like fossils, they're predictable." He took
a breath and had the sudden urge to laugh at the expression on Billy's
face. "I talk a lot when I'm scared."
The amused affection vanished, replaced by concern. "You're really
scared." A statement of simple, obvious fact. They all were. "Is it
worse than the first and second times?"
That did bring forth a chuckle. "I can't believe I'm here again.
Different island, same dinosaurs."
"Different company at least."
There was that.
Leaning forward with some difficulty on the thick, damp branch, Alan
rested his body against his drawn up knees. Billy moved too. The kiss
came as naturally as it always had done.
Parting, Alan smiled, holding onto Billy's hand like a lifeline.
"I remember laying eyes on you that first time," he murmured softly.
"Sitting at the front of the lecture hall, all serious on your first day
in my class."
"Yeah, all serious. And in you came with a giant inflatable
Tyrannosaurus Rex under your arm."
How long had it been from that moment to the one that had changed their
lives and those of so many around them? How long from that first laugh
to the one they were able to share now, even under these terrifying
"People think they know me. They either think I'm this brave hero who
laughs in the face of certain grizzly death, or I'm a mental case who
lost it years back in a theme park full of prehistoric killers. I
didn't mean to return to Isla Nublar and I never in my wildest
nightmares intended on visiting this place."
Billy leaned in a little closer, uncaring if the two crazy people who'd
brought them here on an empty promise and a basket of lies heard them or
"I know you. And I think you're happier here than you are in the real
Alan shook his head, rubbing his forehead against Billy's. "I'll admit
I don't have the best relationship with the real word, but this is not
my idea of good times. I like my raptors to have been dead a very long
No arguments there.
Alan sat back again, and nimbly, Billy turned to seat himself between
his lover's legs, his back against the older man's chest and belly.
One of Alan's arms came around him naturally, while the other kept them
balanced on the thick branch.
"Try to get some rest," Alan murmured, resting his head against Billy's,
closing his eyes. Despite what he'd said, and the lurking dread in his
stomach, he was glad at that moment to have his best student close to
him. "You'll need your strength."
Billy smiled to himself, thinking about the last time Alan had whispered
those very words to him. He was very fit for his age, and Billy had
found that out the best way.
He wrapped the fingers of one hand around Alan's arm, and linked those
of the other with Alan's fingers where they rested on the side of the
branch. "Nothing's going to happen to me," he reassured softly.
Alan sighed. So often it was as if Billy could read his mind. Or see
into his heart.
"If any of us get off this island, it'll be a miracle."
"We're going to make it. Whatever happens. We're going to make it."
Alan Grant was amazed, when he woke a couple of hours later, that he'd
been able to sleep at all. Certainly on his last two visits to hell he
hadn't gotten any rest until they'd been secure in the hands of safety.
Billy was still huddled into him, his breathing deep and even.
Alan dropped a kiss into his lover's damp hair and lifted his head to
look across the forest to the tree in which their two companions had
taken refuge. They were both awake and talking quietly, now and again
It didn't matter, he thought then, where comfort came from out here. No
one would ever comment on them out here.
What was it about mortal danger that brought out the very best in people?
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