fredbassett: (Jenny 1)
[personal profile] fredbassett
Title : Warming Up
Author : fredbassett
Fandom : Primeval
Rating : 15
Characters : Jenny/Danny
Disclaimer : Not mine, no money made, don’t sue.
Spoilers : None
Summary : Jenny knows it’s time for her to walk away.
A/N : Ages ago, [ profile] celeste9 and I challenged each other to write some Jenny/Danny, or eventually, I wrote this for her fandom stocking.

“Don’t go, Jen, this is your team, not mine. They need you. We all need you.”

It took Danny Quinn to draw a smile out of her on the day she’d nearly died. He was also the only person who’d ever called her Jen and lived to tell the tale since the day she’d left school.

She put her hand lightly on his arm. “I can’t do this any more, Danny. But you can, and they’re your team now, not mine.”

Jenny leaned up and pressed a swift kiss to his cheek to hide the tears in her eyes. She picked up the bag into which she’d shovelled her personal things and walked quickly towards the door. She hated goodbyes at the best of times, and this fell a very long way short of the best of times.

Handing in her notice to Lester had been hard, but saying her goodbyes would be even harder. Connor gave her an awkward hug. Abby’s was less restrained and she had to promise to keep in touch. A promise that Jenny didn’t think she’d be able to keep, but she kept that thought to herself. Becker – bless his uptight little military socks – had shaken her hand and told her it had been a pleasure to work with her.

On the drive home, she turned her car heater up as high as it would go, but even with heat blasting out, she still felt cold. Once home, she cranked her central heating up to its highest setting, poured herself a warming glass of red wine, and retired to the hottest bath she could stand. An hour later, she put on her warmest pyjamas, her red cashmere bedsocks and a fleece dressing-gown and wondered if she could face grabbing a microwave meal from the freezer, but the idea held little appeal. She’d seen all the ice she wanted to see for the day. In fact she’d seen all the ice she wanted to see in a lifetime, thank you very much.

With startling abruptness, standing in the middle of her immaculate kitchen, Jenny started to cry. The tears fell silently at first, then she started to sob. She grabbed a handful of kitchen roll and managed to stumble through into the living room where she curled up in a corner of the sofa, her shoulders heaving as she finally let go of the stress of the day.

She’d almost been frozen to death at work. She’d handed in her notice. She had no intention of changing her mind, despite Danny Quinn’s attempt at puppy dog eyes.

She had no one to cry on. No one to hold her and tell her everything would be all right.

She’d not seen Michael since she’d broken off her engagement and she had no desire to see him now. Ringing her mother would be a waste of time and effort. All she’d get from that quarter would be barbed comments about having thrown over the perfect man, for a job with anti-social hours that she seemed strangely reluctant to talk about at parties.

Jenny blew her nose loudly and poured herself another glass of Merlot.

Her phone buzzed.

Out of habit she reached for it and swiped the screen.

There’s a flash of hot whisky honey and lemon on your doorstep plus a takeaway pizza. Pepperoni. Extra hot. Drink the whisky first, it’ll taste better that way round.

That set off a fresh flood of tears and it was another ten minutes before Jenny was able to blow her nose again, scrub her damp eyes with yet another tissue and retrieve the items Danny had left on her doorstep.

The pizza smelled wonderful, and reminded her rather forcibly that she’d had nothing to eat since a hurried breakfast of a slice of toast that was now nearly 12 hours ago. Despite that, she followed Danny’s advice and poured some of the whisky mix into a mug and took a mouthful. It tasted as good as it smelled. It also went straight to her head, but Jenny had nowhere to be the following morning and right now, a hangover was the least of her worries.

The pizza had already been cut into slices and was exactly the way she liked it. Hot pepperoni with extra chillies. Becker and his lads had long since given up challenging Jenny to chilli eating competitions on a Friday night. She could eat that lot to a standstill when it came to hot food. She fought back a sniffle as she devoured the pizza. Friday nights weren’t going to be the same but on the plus side, near-death experiences were now considerably less likely.

She picked up her phone and left a smeary mess on the screen, texting back to Danny: Thanks. J.

Jenny left two slices of pizza for breakfast, cleansed her palate with a glass of Merlot, then poured another mug of hot whisky. It was now just after midnight. The sensible thing would be to stop drinking and go to bed, but Jenny knew that as soon as she closed her eyes, she’d see the mushroom creature coming at her again and feel the ice getting into her bones and finally stopping her heart.

She curled up on the sofa again and pulled a cashmere throw around her.

Twice, Jenny dozed off, and twice she woke up in a cold sweat, tendrils of fear wrapped around her, as she gasped aloud and tried to fight her way out of the grip of panic.

She could get through this on her own, she knew she could. But her hand still hovered over her phone. She’d been on the anomaly project long enough to know that there were times when even the strongest, most reserved members of the team felt the need to let go. Generally, the blokes just went to the pub and sunk too much beer, but she’d seen tears as well. Becker had lost a man to the fungus, and she wondered how he was feeling. It wouldn’t surprise her if Danny had delivered a care package to his doorstep as well. More whisky and pizza? Probably, but without the extra chillies in Becker’s case.

Eventually, Jenny got up and made herself a mug of mint tea. She’d given up on the idea of sleep, so she turned on the lights and settled back down on the sofa yet again. Maybe she could read…

Her phone buzzed. Can’t sleep?

She texted back: Have you been outside my flat all night?

Not all night.

You’re a bloody idiot, Danny.

But I’m your bloody idiot and you won’t hear a word said against me.

He was right, and she knew it.

When Jenny opened the door of her flat, he came up the path, a wide smile on his craggy face. He was wearing a fresh shirt and had obviously showered at some point, but she could see the shadows under his eyes as well. For all his flippant exterior, Danny was a good man and a natural leader. He would have taken the losses just as hard as she had.

Jenny mustered the best smile in her armoury. “There’s two pieces of pizza left and about half a mug of whisky.”

He pulled her into a hug. “I thought you were never going to offer.”

She thumped him on the back of his shoulder, but hugged him back.

It was good to know she didn’t have to go through this on her own.

She’d happily trade the ‘perfect’ fiancé for a ginger-haired ex-copper with a smart mouth and a good heart.
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