Random One Shots

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182. Owen Grady 7

~As the egg cracked, Ruth Dearing looked over to her cousin, Claire, who was consulting with the scientists.
There was literally nobody to ask ‘are you sure about this?’
Ruth watched the hybrid kick its way out of the egg, just as the second egg began to crack.
Two new hybrid dinosaurs. Ruth didn’t even know what species they were – the scientists called it an ‘Indominus Rex’, a name meant to sound scary. It certainly scared Ruth, considering they’d told her that the base gene of the new breed was a T-Rex.
One, the first hatchling, was white, with red eyes.
The second, Ruth noticed, was grayish, though she, too, had the red eyes.
Aware of being watched, Ruth reached out a hand and carefully picked up the baby dinosaurs, trying not to flinch as they snapped their tiny jaws.
This… is not a good idea.
Two Weeks Later
“Ruth, we need you to come in right away!” her cousin’s voice was shrill over the phone.
“Why? It’s half past five in the morning!” Ruth grumbled.
“The white one is attacking the grey one,” Claire told her irritably, “and we need you to try and separate them.”
The hybrid sisters were already large – the size of a large motorcycle, roughly – and they ate a lot. Recently, though, the white one, whom Ruth had nicknamed ‘Indy’, had started snapping at the smaller grey sister (‘Mini’).
Jumping out of bed, Ruth changed quickly, putting on her shorts, button-up shirt, and boots. She quickly tied her dark hair back and hurried out to her truck.
When she arrived at the still-under-construction I-Rex enclosure, she found the workers and her cousin looking miserable and vaguely ill.
“What’s happening?”
“She ate it…” someone mumbled from behind her.
“She what?”
“The white one… she’s… eating the smaller one.” Claire said, turning faintly green.
Ruth pushed past the workers and hurried into the enclosure.
Sure enough…
Oh good god.
“Indy! C’mon, back up.”
There wasn’t exactly much left, but Ruth wanted them to bury what was left. She’d bonded well with Mini, who had been a lot less vicious than her older sibling.
The white dinosaur snapped her jaws, clearly unamused at being interrupted.
“Dude, come on, that’s cannibalism… and your sister…”
Not like the damn thing is going to understand me.
When the white dinosaur slowly stepped towards Ruth, she thought for a moment, that perhaps it had listened to her.
That was, until the dinosaur took a chunk out of her arm.
Ruth’s scar was itchy again. Absent-mindedly, she scratched it as she watched her sort-of-boyfriend, Owen Grady, call commands to his velociraptors.
After Ruth’s injury, they’d stunned the I-Rex to get her out of there, then she’d been air-lifted to hospital.
Lucky for her, it hadn’t been a serious bite, so she hadn’t had to have any amputation, but she’d had a lot of skin grafts and she was left with a gnarly scar.
When she’d healed enough to return to work, she had been given the news that they’d cancelled her portion of the I-Rex project, due to it being unsafe.
They’d got that right.
Still, they’d had a job lined up for her; they wanted her to work with Owen as an assistant. She’d been skeptical at first – velociraptors were a whole new kettle of fish – but she’d soon settled in, not to mention developed a mutual attraction with Owen.
And now they were dating… sort of.
Ruth found it hard to decipher their relationship sometimes. They went out to dinner, and stayed at each other’s houses, kissed and cuddled, and Owen called her his girlfriend. But she wasn’t entirely sure how serious it was.
She’d sort of been terrified of showing him her scar at first. When he’d eventually seen it though, he’d been amazed, rather than disgusted. Ruth was pretty certain that that moment, right there, had been the moment she had fallen in love with him.
Now she no longer bothered with long sleeve tops, unless it was cold. She wore her scar with pride, because honestly how many people could say they’d faced off with a hybrid dinosaur monster, and lived to tell the tale?
Though, of course, she wasn’t allowed to tell them what it had been – anyone who asked, she told them it was a baby T-Rex.
Ruth was sitting on the porch step outside Owen’s bungalow when Claire rocked up in her SUV.
“Here’s trouble,” Owen muttered, loud enough for Ruth to hear, and make a noise of agreement. She knew Owen and her cousin had gone on a date, a while before Ruth and Owen had gotten together, but she hadn’t exactly gotten around to telling Claire about her relationship…
Claire didn’t notice Ruth while she made her little speech; in fact, she only noticed her when Owen brushed past Ruth to go and get changed into something more suitable for surveying dinosaurs.
“Ruth?”
“Oh, hey Claire.” Ruth waved.
“I suppose you’d better come too, the Indominus was yours, after all… wait a second… what are you doing here?”
“Ummm… I was just hanging out with Owen. We were done working for the day and we usually hang out… get dinner… watch movies…” she was doing a terrible job, desperately hoping Claire wouldn’t get too mad.
“Wait… are you two…” Claire trailed off, making a ‘together’ gesture.
“Ummm…. I was going to tell you, I just didn’t know how…”
Claire rolled her eyes.
“This is going to end badly for you, Ruth.”
This annoyed Ruth a little.
“Well we’ve been good for almost three months, so…” she shrugged. At that point, Owen returned, and no more was said, though there was an awkward pause as they climbed into the SUV.
“So this ‘asset’,” Owen said as Claire drove, “How big is it, exactly?”
“She’ll be fifty feet when fully grown.”
“And when will she be fully grown?” he asked.
“She almost is. She has an accelerated growth rate. When she was two weeks old she was the size of a motorcycle,” Ruth put in.
Owen turned to stare at her.
“You’ve seen this creature before then?”
“Of course she has,” said Claire, “she was there when the asset hatched.”
“What?” Owen stared at Ruth.
“You didn’t tell him?” Claire asked, eyebrows raised.
Thanks, Claire. You’re a bitch.
“I was going to tell you,” Ruth explained to Owen, “I just… Indy’s existence isn’t meant to be huge knowledge to everyone yet.”
“Indy?”
“That’s what I called her, when she was a hatchling.” Ruth shrugged.
“That thing tore a chunk out of your arm, and you still give it a name?” Claire was exasperated.
Owen glared at Ruth.
“I really wish you’d told me it was this hybrid… thing… that tore your arm open,” he muttered as they climbed out of the car.
“I wasn’t allowed to. I wanted to… I’m sorry,” Ruth said, miserably. She hated when Owen was mad at her.
“I know, I understand. I just wish you could have told me.”
“I’m sorry.” Ruth repeated.
He hugged her.
“Well, you’re even braver than I thought. Though, what the hell were you doing in her enclosure?”
“She was eating her sister.” Ruth explained.
“She… what?”
“Yeah.”
“What the hell kind of dinosaur is that thing?”
“A nasty one.”
They walked up the steps to the observation deck, Claire chattering away about the new asset.
Ruth was frantic.
She and Claire were standing in the control room, and she had absolutely no idea whether or not Owen had gotten out of the I-Rex paddock.
“Lowery, you better give me some good news,” Ruth threatened, just as the elevator doors opened.
She turned and found herself face-to-face with a very angry Owen Grady.
If she hadn’t been so relieved to see him, and so worried about the damn dinosaur rampaging the island, she would have been a little aroused by how damn dominant he was when he was angry.
Despite how angry he was, he still seemed pleased to see Ruth; she flung herself into his arms.
“Thank God you’re alright, I was so worried!” there was a tiny pause, then, “Why do you smell like gasoline?”
“It’s a long story.”
“Ruth, you should stay with Claire and her nephews.” Owen said as he climbed onto his bike.
“Are you kidding me? I’m coming with you.”
“No way, it’s too dangerous.”
“Owen,” she put her hands on her hips, “I have observed these raptors with you and Barry for months. Besides, I was there when the Indominus was hatched. I kind of feel responsible. Besides, maybe she’ll listen to my commands.”
“Like the last time you tried to call her off and she turned part of your arm into a steak?”
“Irrelevant.”
“Okay. Fine. But you’d better hurry up. Hoskins won’t wait forever.”
Ruth hurried to find a motorcycle and a gun. She hated the idea of putting a bullet into the I-Rex, but knew it had to be done.
And so, soon enough, she found herself riding a motorcycle, surrounded by velociraptors.
“Ruth, don’t you do anything stupid,” Owen called as the raptors slowed down enough for the following humans to pull up behind them.
“Who, me?” Ruth asked innocently.
The Indominus Rex appeared out of the trees, and promptly began to communicate with the raptors.
“That thing’s part raptor…” Owen said grimly.
There was a moment’s pause, then Ruth stood up and stepped right into the I-Rex’s vision.
“Stand down, Indy. C’mon. I know you recognize me!”
“HOLD YOUR FIRE!”
Owen telling their companions to hold their fire drowned Ruth’s frustrated voice out.
“It’s not working, Ruth!”
Yeah, I don’t need to be told that.
She dived back behind the log, just in time for Owen to shout ‘light it up!’
“What the hell were you thinking?” Owen demanded as they ran back to the bike.
“I don’t know, I just… I just thought maybe it would work.”
“You could have gotten yourself killed! Or isn’t that scar enough for you?” he was furious, Ruth realized. He had never been this angry with her before.
“I’m sorry…”
“Don’t you ever do that shit again, you hear me?”
“I hear you.”
“Good. Now get on the damn bike.”
She climbed on behind him. He was shaking a little, she realized. The loss of one of his raptors had hurt him; he was trying hard not to show it.
“Where are we going?”
“To find Claire and the kids.”
She didn’t speak, she just held on, praying to whatever god was listening that they would make it through the night.
Ruth sat under a blanket. Her family – Claire, the boys, and their parents – had already left. Claire would be back in a couple of days, she had promised.
Owen was seeing to the wounded, calming distressed tourists, and reuniting lost children with their parents.
In other words, he was being his usual heroic self.
Perhaps she wouldn’t have minded this, if she wasn’t so alone. Owen had given her the I-Rex tooth he’d dug out of the ‘hamster ball’, and she was turning it over and over in her hands.
It was ridiculous; people had died, been injured, and billions of dollars worth of damage had been done to the park. The monster-dinosaur had been devoured by the Mosasaurus.
And somehow, Ruth was upset by that.
Owen was allowed to be upset by the loss of two of his raptors, and the fact that Delta was still in a critical condition. They were like… well, like a cross between his pets and his children.
And they hadn’t exactly eaten anybody. Well… except when they’d gone rogue. But still.
Ruth had been there when ‘Indy’ had been hatched. She’d worked with her for two weeks, teaching her.
Of course, Indy had taken a chunk out of her arm, too. And yet, Ruth was sad.
She was still turning the I-Rex tooth over in her fingers when Owen returned.
“Hey.”
“Hey.”
“You want to get out of here?”
“I’d love to… but… where will we go?”
“Home. ACU will get the T-Rex contained soon.”
“Ok. Let’s go home then.”
“We should probably stick together, you know.” Owen said, putting an arm around her shoulders, “For survival.”
“Yeah. Until the world’s safe enough to survive on our own, right?” Ruth said.
“Nah, I was thinking more of a permanent partnership…”
“Are you-?”
“I’m asking you to marry me, Ruth.”
“Oh… wait… oh my god!”
“Is that a yes?”
“Of course it’s a yes!”
And for the third time in less than twenty four hours, Ruth Dearing jumped into his arms.
EPILOGUE
Of course, nothing is ever perfect.
For the first few months, they both woke from the nightmares that plagued them. Ruth usually woke screaming, and then lay awake for hours afterwards, which meant she often caught Owen waking from his own terrors.
He dreamed of the lost raptors, she knew. Of the original four, only Blue remained to them. Owen had insisted upon building a new paddock near their house, so that she could be closer to them. She wasn’t a dog, or a horse, or any kind of pet, he knew. And he had said so. He just didn’t want her to be alone.
He sometimes muttered their names in his sleep, too. Ruth had heard him. The sooner the new squad of raptors hatched, the better, she thought.
When those first few months passed, and they were finally married, life began to get back on track. The park was slowly but surely repaired. The creation of hybrid dinosaurs was forbidden, and slowly, the park opened again to the wary public.
The solitary remaining velociraptors drew interest. People were very keen on seeing the man who could walk into a cage and practically get a raptor to do tricks for food.
Ruth often stood outside, a clicker in her hand, just in case.
One afternoon, a young boy asked Ruth a question that made her incredibly sad.
“Doesn’t the dinosaur get lonely in there by herself?”
“I imagine she does. She used to have sisters.”
“Did they die in the big accident?”
“They died saving the man in there, and me, and our friends.”
“I didn’t know dinosaurs were brave. What were their names?”
“There was Delta, and Echo, and Charlie,” Ruth said sadly.
“My name is Charlie!” the boy said excitedly.
“Then you have a lucky name.”
She told Owen about the boy later.
“Don’t you think, honey… maybe… maybe it’s time to get another couple of raptors. Blue must be so lonely, even though we visit her every day…”
Owen shrugged.
“I just don’t want to… you know… replace them.” he got all choked up on the last word, as he so often did talking about his girls. Ruth crossed the room and stroked his hair.
“I know, baby, I know.”
“Maybe it’s time.”
Which was how, a year after the I-Rex incident, the year began with a new squad. Blue, the oldest, resumed her beta duties. The new raptors – India, Juliet, and November – were still skittish, but Ruth was certain that under Owen’s training, they would manage just fine.
“She seems so much happier…” Owen commented as the two of them observed the squad devouring a couple of pigs.
“Of course she does. They’re like her children.” Ruth smiled.
“Yeah… god, Blue has kids before us…” Owen muttered, rubbing a hand across his face.
“Not by much,” Ruth murmured in his ear.
Owen beamed at her.
“Y-you… you’re-?”
Ruth nodded.
He picked her up and swung her in a circle. The raptors looked up at them and made funny little chirping noises.
“I think they’re happy for us…” Ruth giggled.
“I’d better get them all trained up,” Owen said seriously, “So they’re civilized enough to meet their new brother or sister…”
“Mr Grady, there is no way in any circle of hell that I am letting you take our child into the raptor pen.”
“Mrs Grady,” he replied, “our kid will take after us. And when he or she is old enough…”
Ruth sighed. There was literally no way she was going to keep any child of theirs away from dinosaurs.
“Thank god you know what you’re doing,” she sighed.
“Come on. Let’s go home. We have a big day tomorrow.”
Absurdly, they waved to their new squad, threw each raptor an extra treat, and then descended the steps.
Of course, there was still a long way to go before everything was perfect, but thankfully, they had all the time in the world.
 

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