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Title : Silk and Steel, Part 57
Authors : fredbassett & munchkinofdoom
Fandom : Primeval
Characters : Lester, Lyle, Ditzy, Ryan, Thomson, Rees,Wilkes
Rating : 18
Disclaimer : Not ours, no money made, don’t sue
Spoilers : None
Summary : Ryan is taken to the infirmary.
Warning : Slave!fic. References to scenes of violence, including rape.
A/N : Captain Thomson appears by kind permission of [livejournal.com profile] deinonychus_1 , Matt Rees by kind permission of [livejournal.com profile] telperion_15 , and Corporal Wilkes by kind permission of [livejournal.com profile] reggietate .

Second Lieutenant Dave Owen realised that the corridor leading to the Interrogation Suite was suspiciously empty of any other ARC personnel as he and Corporal Wilkes rushed toward the open door of the Interrogation Room, a stretcher between them. Clearing the door with barely any lessening of speed, Ditzy was shocked to find his patient sprawled haphazardly across tiles that sparkled with water, cradled carefully in the arms of his second in command.

Lyle looked up at the sound of their boots, tearing his gaze away from the wet hair and pale face that lay on his lap. "Ditz," he said quietly, his own colour not much better than Captain Ryan’s. "The bastard raped him as well."

"Miller?" asked Ditzy as he knelt down beside the prone man and felt for a pulse at his throat, not liking the clammy, chilled feel of Ryan's flesh and his pronounced shivering.

"Yeah," Lyle muttered. "After half-drowning him. Fucking cunt."

Ditzy nodded absently as Lyle talked, more intent on getting Ryan up off the wet floor and onto the stretcher. "Jon, later," he interrupted. "Help us lift him." The three men wrapped Ryan in a blanket and lifted him together, settling him on his back before Ditzy continued his examination.

Slipping a portable pulse oximeter on Ryan's finger and reading his oxygen saturation level with concern, Ditzy leaned in, listening intently to Ryan's low breathing, checking for any telltale wet sounds as he exhaled. Pulling out his stethoscope, he listened to Ryan's lungs, nodding with satisfaction when he didn't pick up any abnormal sounds. But it was still possible that the captain might have got fluid in his lungs. Ditzy was going to have to watch out for the possibility of dry-drowning and pneumonia as well. Then the medic sighed; that was if he had time to worry about the possible complications of waterboarding before they executed the poor bastard. Ditzy had been in the armed forces and worn a collar long enough to know where all this was heading.

Ryan's eyelids fluttered slightly as he was swaddled in blankets and then his eyes opened. Ditzy stopped to look at him, a reassuring smile on his face. "Hey," the medic said softly. "Everything's okay, boss. We're going to get you somewhere nice and warm."

Ryan nodded slightly, even though his trembling was showing no signs of abating, then looked up at Lyle's concerned face. "Lester?" he asked, his voice still hoarse.

"Stood down," Lyle answered. Ryan closed his eyes in resignation. "Not your fault, mate," Lyle continued. "He broke just before you did. And what the hell did you think you were doing, anyway? You did that on purpose! You could have died, you stupid bastard."

"Jon," Ditzy hissed, glaring at his fellow officer. The last thing they needed right now, with their captain showing all the early signs of shock, was Lyle upsetting him any further. Then, as he and Wilkes began to push the stretcher toward the door, something suddenly occurred to him. "So who's in charge?"

"Leek."

Ditzy stopped and stared at Lyle. Even Ryan's eyed widened a little at that news.

"Leek?" Ditzy repeated. "How the hell did that happen?"

"Beats me," Lyle answered quietly. “Thomson just handed control to him on a plate.” Then he frowned for a moment as something clearly registered with him. "Leek seemed as surprised as I was, actually. The only one who didn't seem surprised was Lester," he added quietly.

Ditzy and Wilkes started to move the stretcher and Lyle sighed. "I can't come with you, mate," he whispered, leaning closer to Ryan's ear. "Leek's all we've got right now and I have to make sure nothing eats him."

Ryan nodded, then caught Lyle's hand as he began to move away. Lyle leaned in again as Ryan whispered harshly, "Don't do anything stupid, Jon."

"Hey…"

"I mean it," Ryan interrupted Lyle's protestations. "You need to keep everyone safe. I can't…"

Lyle swallowed, his face paling even further, and the two lieutenants' eyes met over Ryan's prone body. Ditzy had never seen Lyle look so sick, short of actually being ill or injured, and he didn't want to think about how much longer Lyle could carry on before he blew and someone died.

Then Lyle broke the staring match, touched Ryan's blanket-covered shoulder briefly, and headed out of the room.

"All right, boss," said Ditzy as they began to push the stretcher on its trolley away from the Interrogation Room. "Let's get you to the infirmary." Behind them, as the two medics left, Ditzy could hear voices coming from the Viewing Room. He sighed as they approached the lift to take them upstairs to the infirmary and he was able to spare a glance back the way they came. He only hoped that Lyle managed to hold it together, and that they could trust Leek to provide some measure of protection.

Shrugging quietly to himself, Ditzy put those thoughts aside as they wheeled the stretcher into the lift and waited for it to take them to the first floor. There was precious little he could do at that moment to keep Lyle on track, and even less about their overall situation. Section 42 had, to all intents and purposes, taken control of the Anomaly Project and Ditzy was in no doubt that Leek was their yes-man. He sighed: situation normal, otherwise known as completely fucked up.

Ditzy turned his attention back to his patient, making sure he stayed in Ryan's line of sight. He checked Ryan's pulse oximeter again, noting that his trembling had lessened slightly, then looked up at Wilkes. "We're going to need oxygen, just to be on the safe side, and some warming pads," he said quietly.

Then the lift doors opened and they were moving again. Pushing the stretcher through the infirmary doors, Ditzy was unimpressed to be met by Matt Rees's concerned face. He glared at Thomson's medic as they headed for one of the beds, and Rees just looked back at him. Ditzy frowned and looked down at Ryan: he didn't have time for these petty games. But Rees joined them, helping them transfer Ryan onto the bed. Ryan opened his eyes again as they moved him, and he recoiled as he saw Rees standing beside him.

"Hey," Ditzy said, gently touching Ryan's cheek to gain his attention. "You just keep looking at me, okay?" Ditzy spared one look at Rees and the medic nodded his understanding and took a step away from the bed.

Ditzy turned his attention back to Ryan, not happy with his pale, clammy appearance and the trembling, which had worsened with Rees's proximity. Collecting an oxygen mask, Ditzy made to slide the straps over Ryan's head, only to be stopped by Rees's voice.

"He’ll be better off with a nasal cannula," Rees said quietly, meeting Ditzy's eyes as he looked up in surprise. "The mask will be too claustrophobic after what he’s just been through."

Ditzy looked down at the mask, the plastic heavy in his hand, and swallowed. He closed his eyes in resignation for a moment, confronted again with the stark reality of how Ryan had ended up in this state, and then put the mask away. Picking up a nasal cannula, he returned to Ryan's bedside and lifted his head, sliding the thin, clear tubing in place over his ears and settling the prongs in his nostrils.

Ryan blinked up at him as Ditzy settled his head back on the pillow, and the medic smiled down reassuringly. Then he turned on the oxygen and watched his patient for any discomfort. Ryan's eyes closed again and his breathing seemed to settle a little.

It was early days yet, and Ditzy disliked the idea of being beholden to Lieutenant Rees, but he looked up and away from Ryan anyway. Rees was watching the scene keenly, and Ditzy nodded once in thanks and acknowledgement.

Then their attention was drawn to the door of the infirmary as footsteps sounded in the corridor. Sir James Lester entered with Captain Thomson on his heels. Rees straightened to attention, but Ditzy only spared him a glance as Ryan gripped his hand hard.

"Lieutenant Owen," Thomson said in greeting. "I trust that you will do your duty concerning both the treatment and security of Captain Ryan?"

"Yes, sir," Ditzy acknowledged, even as he felt Ryan's grip tighten further, his shivers increasing. Ditzy gave his hand a squeeze in reassurance as he nodded to the man who was now in charge of the ARC's military contingent.

"Excellent," answered Thomson. "I would prefer not to have to transfer Captain Ryan to a cell so soon after interrogation." Then the captain turned to Lester. "If you would be so kind as to accompany Lieutenant Rees, sir, he will perform the necessary tests."

Rees walked briskly to Ditzy's private examination room and opened the door for Lester, who stared down his nose at Thomson – no mean feat, considering the disparity in their sizes – and followed the medic.

Ditzy couldn't help but notice that Lester's gaze fell on Ryan for a long moment before he turned and entered the room. Ditzy looked down at his patient, whose grip had finally loosened, and Ryan's head rolled weakly back toward him. His eyes were bright and glassy, and his trembling had worsened again.

Heavy footsteps sounded again and Ditzy looked up to find Captain Thomson standing beside the bed, across from his own position. Ryan's head weakly followed Ditzy's gaze and the medic looked down to see him flinch in fear.

Thomson took a step closer and rested a hand gently on Ryan's arm. "My apologies, Captain. I have no idea what the outcome of these proceedings will be, but I can promise – subject to Mr Leek's approval, of course – that you will not be subjected to further interrogation, at least not of such severity."

Ryan stared for a long moment and then nodded weakly. Ditzy noted that his trembling was showing no signs of abating and his colour was bad despite the oxygen he was receiving. Placing a comforting hand on Ryan's arm, Ditzy risked a glare at Thomson.

The Section 42 captain met Ditzy's gaze full on and he spared a small smile before patting Ryan's arm in parting. "Lieutenant," he acknowledged, nodding, and then turned away and headed for the examination room.

Ditzy watched him go and then turned his attention back to Ryan. Corporal Wilkes returned, sparing one concerned look at the closed door to the examination room before he handed over heating pads. "Boss," Ditzy said quietly as they slipped the pads under the blankets. "We're going to warm you up first, get your oxygen levels back up to normal, and then I'm going to have to check you over, okay?"

Ryan looked up at him, nodded once, and then closed his eyes again. Ditzy started a glucose/saline line and then stood over his patient, watching him closely. His colour was a little better and the oxygen was obviously doing its job. Ditzy catalogued Ryan's probable injuries in his head: trauma to his liver and kidneys, going by the incipient bruising, water in his lungs, and rectal tearing – again – from the rape.

He'd need to close the tearing soon, administer anti-inflammatories and precautionary antibiotics, and check for bleeding in Ryan's urine, but for now he could give his captain a brief moment of peace and quiet.

* * * * *


The small examination room felt claustrophobic with three men inside, but Sir James Lester had no intention of showing his discomfort before the likes of Captain Thomson and his lieutenant. He kept his face calm, outwardly unmoved, as he watched Lieutenant Rees prepare a small kidney tray with the equipment he needed in order to take the blood samples.

Not that they'd find anything. Lester was as certain of that as he was of anything. Ryan hadn't drugged him, either orally or by injection. Ryan was loyal to him and to the Anomaly Project. The man could take stoic to almost ridiculous levels and, to Lester’s surprise, had even been able to lie under torture to protect his master, but he was loyal. Lester was certain of that, and he believed that further examination of all the CCTV footage would vindicate the soldier.

But there still remained a tiny, almost imperceptible, misgiving in the back of his mind. If a man could retain enough composure to not only lie under torture but actively bring that torture to an end via almost catastrophic means, what else might such a man be capable of? And, if the both sets of footage were indeed authentic, how could a man be in two places at once? Because Lester knew that Ryan hadn't drugged him. Nor did he suspect either of the guards of collusion, but no doubt their testimony would be tested by similar means to those used on Ryan. Procedures in the ARC were starting to bear an unfortunate resemblance to those in Ancient Rome, where the testimony of a slave was only considered admissible in evidence if taken under torture.

Rees pulled on a pair of surgical gloves and then approached him, tray in hand. "If you would remove your jacket and roll up your sleeve, sir?" he said politely.

Lester complied; his gaze remained level as the medic filled two vials with blood, sealed the small wound with cotton wool and then instructed Lester to apply pressure. The medic moved away with his samples, placed the kidney dish on a work top, and turned back to Lester.

"Remove your clothing please, sir," Rees said politely.

Lester looked askance.

"I need to check you for needle marks," answered Rees.

"I imagine I'd have felt any such injection, Lieutenant," Lester drawled.

"Not if Captain Ryan had first added something to your drink, Sir James," said Thomson.

"So you’re saying that Ryan slipped me a mickey and then jabbed me? Really, Captain, this is preposterous."

"My apologies, Sir James," Thomson said, "but these procedures are for your own protection."

Lester sighed wearily, glaring at Thomson in annoyance, but he knew that he had no authority in that room, at that moment. Giving the captain one last glare, Lester unbuttoned his shirt and handed it pointedly to the medic, his tacit refusal to continue explicit in his posture as he waited.

Rees took the shirt from him, spared his captain a brief glance, and then proceeded to hang the shirt neatly over the back of a small, straight-backed chair.

Lester continued to strip in the same manner, making sure that each piece of perfectly stitched, impeccably starched clothing was treated with due respect before moving onto the next. Finally, his shoes, with their attendant socks safely stowed in each, rested beside each other on the chair and Lester stood naked before his audience, poised as if such circumstances were a daily occurrence.

"If you will sit up on the examination table, sir?" Rees asked, waiting until Lester had complied. Then the medic bent down before him and checked carefully between his toes, spreading each in turn.

"Thank you, sir," Rees said getting to his feet. "Now, sir, please lie down on your back."

Lester sighed long-sufferingly but complied with Rees's request. He lay on his back, composing in his head the memo he'd have Leek send to the cleaning service concerning the deplorable state of the ceiling tiles. He ignored the sensation of gloved fingers as they parted his legs to inspect the crease of his groin and then carded through his pubic hair. Then those same hands gently moved his arms out and he felt soft breath on his flesh as Rees peered closely through the hair in his armpits.

"On your stomach please, sir."

Lester rolled over and pillowed his head on his arms as he studiously ignored the hands that played down his body, parting his cheeks for a moment before moving down to the backs of his knees.

Finally, he heard the medic step away from the examination couch.

"All clear, sir," Rees reported.

"May I assume this farce is now at an end, Captain?" Lester asked dryly as he sat up.

"There is just one more procedure, sir," said Rees, handing over a clear container, the size of a large mug.

Lester just looked at the receptacle and then at Captain Thomson, his expression an impeccable sneer.

"Again, sir, it is for…" Thomson started.

"…my own protection. Yes, yes, very well. I assume this also requires your direct supervision, Captain?" Lester drawled, staring down his nose at the container still held in Rees’s hand.

Thomson looked at Lester for a long moment. "Protocol, Sir James. There must be no doubt about the results of the test," he said, his tone carefully polite.

Lester didn't buy it for a moment but he knew this wasn’t an argument he was going to win. Finally, he sighed, took the container from Rees's outstretched hand and looked pointedly at Thomson.

"No, Sir James, we most certainly cannot turn our backs."

Lester slid down from the table and took his penis in one hand, aiming carefully as he proceeded to urinate into the container. In his head, he had now reached the point in the imaginary memo where he was suggesting sacking the cleaning contractors and obtaining three alternative quotations. When he’d finished providing the required sample, he screwed on the lid and handed the specimen to the stony-faced medic, thanking him politely for the wet-wipe offered in exchange. Lester wiped his fingers and deposited the used tissue on the examination couch, his expression still studiously neutral.

"I assume everything is to your satisfaction, Captain?" Lester asked, meeting and holding Thomson's gaze, daring the man to look down or to acknowledge Lester’s nakedness in any way.

"Yes, Sir James."

"Excellent." Lester turned then to Lieutenant Rees. "My clothes, Lieutenant, if you please."

Feeling the weight of Captain Thomson's gaze as he dressed, Lester soon put himself to rights and then turned to face his captor. He raised one perfectly manicured brow and awaited a response.

"Thank you for your co-operation, Sir James," Thomson said. "If you will wait a moment, I will have you escorted to your private quarters. I will see that you are provided with refreshments." The captain ushered Lester to the door back into the infirmary, allowing him to lead the way. "If you will excuse me for a moment, Sir James, I have matters I need to attend to, but I assume I may count on your word that you won't attempt anything untoward, such as a bid for freedom?"

Lester quirked an eyebrow at Thomson at such an outlandish thought. "Of course."

The captain simply stared back, a small smile appearing just for a moment, then he gave one quick glance over Lester's shoulder out into the infirmary. Then Thomson looked at him again, as if weighing up what he saw, before he turned away and walked back into the examination room and closed the door behind him.

Well, that was interesting, Lester thought as he stared at the closed door. Then a polite cough sounded behind him and he turned to find Lieutenant Owen watching him. The medic beckoned him over, and Lester needed no second invitation.

"If you wouldn't mind watching my patient for me sir, sir," Ditzy whispered as Lester came to a halt beside the bed and looked down at Ryan. "I'll only be a moment."

"Of course, Lieutenant," Lester replied softly, his attention fully on Ryan's face as the soldier blinked for a moment and frowned before opening his eyes. Lester placed his hand softly on Ryan's shoulder and leaned closer, only peripherally aware of the medic, who had moved away.

Ryan blinked again, and Lester felt his slight flinch under his hand. Then Ryan looked up, his frown deepening as his tired, almost glassy eyes met Lester's. Ryan's lips parted and he tried to speak.

"Hush, Captain," Lester said, placing one finger lightly against Ryan's mouth before his fingers wandered across the soldier's cheek, careful not to interfere with the plastic hosing that fed the nasal cannula, and rubbed gently over the pale, clammy flesh. Then Lester spared a quick glance behind him to the still-closed examination room door and then leaned in to place one brief, glancing kiss on Ryan's lips before murmuring, "I'll do what I can to protect you."

Ryan shook his head weakly before turning to stare into Lester's eyes. "Protect yourself and the ARC," he whispered hoarsely.

Lester smiled, but his expression was hard, tempered by just a hint of concern. "Surely you wouldn't presume to tell me how to do my job, Captain?"

Ryan just glared at his master, but Lester knew that the man who had protected his back and warmed his bed for several months was afraid and in pain, despite his outward show of defiance. Ryan's breathing was harsh, despite the oxygen, his colour still pale, and Lester's heart clenched in his chest. He had brought Ryan to this, with his attentions and his politicking and his games with what he now knew was Section 42, and Ryan would almost certainly pay for it with his life.

The sound of a door opening behind him made Lester straighten, and he placed what he hoped was a comforting hand on Ryan's arm in parting before he turned to face Captain Thomson.

"Please allow me to see you to your quarters, Sir James," Thomson said. The soldier walked to the door leading out into the corridor and turned to wait for Lester.

Lester walked to the door and out into the corridor, projecting as much confidence as he could muster. He didn't wait to see if Thomson was behind him and he didn't look back. Ryan was right, he had himself and others to protect, as well.
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