Title: Don't Let Me
Author: Abby Ebon
Fandom: Jurassic Park 3
Prompt: Jurassic Park 3, Alan/Billy, don't look at me like that
Spoilers: Let's just say "yes".
Word Count: -2000
Summary: Billy finds that it has always been about Alan.
Notes/Warnings: This is un-Beta'.
Billy was twenty-one years old when he first saw Alan Grant. Not in person, as that came later. No, it was on the television. In one of only a handful of interviews that Dr. Alan Grant had been pulled into doing. Billy later had it taped and keeps the recording buried in a cardboard box in the closet. One day, Alan will find it, but until then Billy isn't going to say anything.
Alan had been wedged between the tanned blond Ellie with her fit perfection and curves, and the long limbed Dr. Ian Malcolm, dark mess of hair mixing nicely with pale skin.
Billy had hated Ian, whose absentmindedly hand rested firmly on Alan's thigh to keep him in place. Ellie only held his hand, but their closeness had an obvious calming effect on Alan so their bond of survival was viewed worldwide. Those two were opposites of each other, of that Billy had no doubt, and both were breathtakingly lovely in their own way, but it was Alan who was gaunt and sunburned – trapped between his two fellow survivors that made Billy's heart pound. Alan took his breath away without even knowing Billy lived and breathed in the same world.
He remembers the interview going something like this, though Billy can't be blamed if he's forgotten some things and mixed words up – but the gist of it, he's never forgot.
"Tell us what happened to you three on the InGen Island?" She asks, and Billy only knows that she's the host wearing a green dress and gold and silver jewelry. He never remembers her name, even if the show's title probably blares a few times in the corner of the screen with her name on it.
"Why, chaos, of course." Malcolm purrs, with such easy confidence that it's obvious he's done this before. He's pale and his leg is in a black bandage that matches the rest of him. A finger taps against Alan's leg, white knuckled and glassy eyed. Dr. Ian Malcolm is obviously distracted and Billy wants to kill him, the jealously creeps up and won't rest as it digs fingers in and leaves him breathless.
Billy remembers the hostess laughing and Alan grunting, settling down in his seat with folded arms and narrow blue eyes.
"He tried to get cloned monsters to perform live tours." Alan says with a sneer of disgust, Billy can tell that Alan is an honest man – bluntly so, and he holds dinosaurs sacred - what InGen did he takes personally. Billy is breathless with the passion he can see painted right before his eyes; it's a truth Billy can't deny.
"Dr. Grant, do you think all this was for the money? That it had no research science at the core of it?" Alan only looks to the camera, stern and demanding, a force of nature that can not be bent to anyone's will or broken; his silence truly damning. Billy stares into those eyes, wide eyed, he feels as if Alan is looking through the camera to see Billy, his soul and if that is true, Billy thinks he knows what Alan is - Alan is the judge of the entire human race. That fair skinned Ellie is the jury, and pale black clad Malcolm the executioner of Alan's unspoken words. Somehow Alan has tamed those two, their personalities almost a physical living and breathing thing, and made them into something better with Alan in the center. Billy doesn't understand until later that that tie went both ways and that Alan could be made to do things if Malcolm and Ellie both asked it of him.
"If there was any science in the concluding work of building dinosaurs, I am hard pressed to find it." Malcolm defends Alan easily, narrow eyed behind his dark glasses.
"As for the money, what was offered to conclude a visit was substantial, without a doubt, I believe what could have been demanded in payment would have been almost criminal in considering the risks involved. Yet, people would have willingly paid to go. Who doesn't want to see dinosaurs?" Ellie concludes, holding tight to Alan's hand as she slips in the last word. Alan tenses and does not pull away, but he will not look to Ellie now – or the camera. Billy curses her under his breath, and can only wait and hope to see those eyes one last time.
"I agree that it would a very tempting thing to see in this day and age. Tell me though, what are you doing now? Any plans?" It was well reported to the popular media that these three were living together as a ménage à trios, and certainly Malcolm had made it clear that he thought this was as it was supposed to be. He'd written a number of "human relationship" essays and explanations for those the public that "the modern human condition of a married couple" was not natural. It was only a damning phase of society. Billy never quite bought into it, and when the relationship quietly dissolved because of Alan's digs, and Malcolm's oddities, and Ellie's studies. Billy only hoped that when he met Alan things would not be too broken.
"I'll finish the Montana dig." Alan stated, and Ellie tensed up but Malcolm chuckled and that seemed to smooth over whatever ruffled feathers Ellie had had.
"It's been reported that you've been offered a remote dig site in Arizona, what you call in the business of paleontology a virgin site, will you take that generous offer?"
"Probably, yes - there is no guarantee that there will be anything there, however. The likelihood merely increases because of the remote location and the geological conditions." Billy can see how much Alan loves this work, and something in him stirs in echo though Billy thought he'd outgrown dinosaurs a long time ago.
"Why? When you have seen dinosaurs for yourself?" Alan sits forward as the life pours into him, like a cup is being filled – he's no longer that gaunt surviving creature, he's suddenly living and breathing and thriving and Billy can't look away or catch his breath. Watching Alan is like nothing else Billy has ever felt in his life, and Billy knows he'll never get enough.
"Those creatures were imitations of dinosaurs, monsters, not the real marvel of evolution. InGen did not recreate every species of any era; though the Jurassic is certainly the most studied and well known today, there were samples of Permian and Cretaceous." Alan says and it's like a lecture, but Billy can see his eyes glittering and that Alan cares about what he's saying. He's not saying it just to make headlines or earn money. No, this is all about passion, and Billy is stuck that that is what Alan, Ellie, and Malcolm all share – enthusiasm in what they do – what they know. They are adults and Billy always thought adults to be boring individuals, following an endless routine but here in front of his eyes are three who refused to follow that mold. They have a zeal for what they do, in living, and it's that what Billy thought he lacked. He's always loved computers and technology, studying them until he knows what they do and how they work, but he's never really put that knowledge to use – now he knows what he can do with it.
In the morning he mails an application to every university and college in Arizona, he majors in computer technology with a second in paleontology. When there is an offer to visit a dig site as an aide where Alan is working, Billy grabs it.
There first meeting is a blur of Alan questioning them and getting less then pleased by an answer that Billy gives him. Billy is punished by getting landed with paperwork that needs to be sorted and stored on the computer, when Billy is done half-way through the day, Alan looks at him with something that might be respect someday soon. Halfway through the week, Alan's written and spoken with his parents and the school and wants Billy as his apprentice in the field, his genius protégée. Billy works with Alan anytime Billy isn't working on finishing up college or in class. It becomes a normal part of the routine of day to day life to work side by side with Alan.
Things go well for a long time, and every day feels new and different, because Alan's gotten to talking to him and when he talks Billy listens. The man Billy knows hasn't changed from that interview he saw when he was twenty-one, and if as Billy's hero-worship changed into something else and Alan noticed, Alan never said anything about it.
And then it's almost ten years later, and Alan is running out of funds for a dead-end dig that Alan (whose instincts have never been wrong in the all the years Billy has known him) is sure something is there. Billy knows better then Alan what would happen to Billy if they ran out of funding for Alan's dig.
Billy made a deal with his rich step-dad, if Billy made it on his own for ten years in this 'dead-end obsession of his' then Ricky will pay the rest of the way for Billy, helping out when asked and seeing that maybe Alan won't be the last of a dying breed of in-field paleontology after all. Paleontology is Alan's passion, and Billy won't see it die. So it's been almost ten years, but still not quite ten years yet, when funds are running out and there are no bones or finds to show for it.
Then like a miracle from god, the supposedly rich Kirby couple dropped into their laps only wanting Alan to air-tour the last remaining dinosaur isle for a ridicules amount of money that will keep Alan running any dig he wants for years. Alan wants nothing to do with it at first, of course, but Billy reminds him of the deal with Rich-Ricky and Alan decides to go along with it after all it.
Billy finds out too late that the Kirby's are scamming them, and there is no money at all in this – and if they get out of it alive, well, that's all this trip will be worth. Billy touches those fresh 'raptor eggs, and he thinks of Alan safe and doing what he loves with all the benefits of having the discoveries credited to him - and not killing himself slowly while doing it. It's out of love that he does it, and yeah – maybe some greed, but mostly it's for Alan. He won't like it, but…but Billy thinks he can get Alan to understand later when their lives aren't in danger and they walk out of this alive and whole and with something to show for it after all.
Billy understands too late what he's done in Alan's eyes, when Alan looks at him in disgust. Billy feels as if he's lost everything in once battered breath as he uselessly tries to explain, and any hope of respect - let alone that something else that Billy craves from Alan, is snuffed out with a single look. Billy admits later that what he did was reckless and stupid, both stealing the eggs, and drawing the wrath of those flyers down on him – but he did it all for Alan and he has no regrets.
Alan ruffles his hair, once deadened eyes shining for him, and Billy sighs in relief. It was stupid of him, oh yes, but so worth it (and more) to be at Alan's side, safe and forgiven.