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Fractal Dimension Approaching Infinity

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When Ian wakes up, the first thing he sees is Alan sitting beside him, one eye covered by his floppy tan field hat, the other closed in sleep.

"Hey," Ian says. Nothing.

He clears his throat. "Paging Doctor Alan Grant to the dinosaur nursery .. Paging -"

To Ian's satisfied smirk, Alan wakes with a jerk that sends his limbs flying, his head bobbing in a way that reminds Ian a bit too much of a baby compsognathus.

Alan blinks; recovers; leans forward, fixing Ian in a gaze that means business. "How're you doing?"

Ian stares back calmly. "Am I being chased by a T-Rex?"

"Ah, no." The look on Alan's face tells Ian he's just a few words away from another full round with the nice doctor who'd so very helpfully checked him for concussion the evening before.

Ian licks his lips. "How about velociraptors? Any of those in the hallway?"

Alan chuckles at that, but gives Ian his best if you don't behave I will hurt you fish-eye. "Not that I've seen."

"In that case, better than I've been in days." Ian tries to sit up; fails; feels himself caught by a strong arm at his back as Alan props him up with enough pillows to suffocate an elephant. Or a stegosaurus. His chuckle comes out as a gasp for air. "Okay, scratch that. Am I on morphine? Is morphine the correct treatment for being eaten by dinosaurs?"

Alan's hand lingers on Ian's shoulder as he begins to pull away, and there's exasperated concern written in every line of his craggy face. "Not enough drugs? I'll go --"

"No," Ian says, not really bothered by how much he'd rather Alan not go just then. "How's Ellie? The kids?"

"All in better shape than you," says Alan. His thumb begins to stroke Ian's collarbone, an irregular rhythm of sensation that drives Ian mad with its unpredictability. Just before his massive intellect is drawn into a spiraling contemplation of two square inches of flesh where his neck meets his shoulder - just - there - Ian wrenches his hand up to grab Alan's forearm, latching his eyes onto Alan's face, with its insufferably smug, deliberate smirk.

"I want you," Ian gasps out, "to go out there and tell Hammond that I -"

He doesn't get to finish, because Alan's mouth is covering his, strong and clever and utterly unwavering (just like Alan himself); Ian blinks and responds, and when his tongue hits the back of Alan's teeth the Mandelbrot set in Ian's brain does technicolor somersaults.

As quickly as that it's over. Alan leans back and looks intently into Ian's face; Ian licks his lips, quirks an enigmatic smile, and implacably continues:

"Tell Hammond that I told him so."

"Hah!" Alan stands, grins, and moving to the foot of the bed, jovially pats Ian's ankle.

"Ow," says Ian. "Dino bite. Right there. Right -"

Alan ignores this. "Tell him yourself. Ellie and I are coptering out in an hour. Our grant money just flies away if we don't get back to the site." Alan adjusts his hat as he makes his way to the door, with a little fluttering motion that Ian assumes is supposed to represent flying money. "Don't worry, I'll make sure you get an invite to visit us before the end of the season."

"I hate dinosaurs," Ian calls. "Also, ow."

Alan turns in the doorway. "You'll like them better after they've been dead for seventy million years," he says with a wink. "I promise."

"Ow," agrees Ian. "Goodbye, Dr. Grant."

The door closes, and Ian lets his head drop back against the pillows. Unstable chaotic systems, he thinks. I should have predicted the spontaneous emergence of strange attractors.

He chuckles maniacally to himself until he drifts off to sleep.