Squad Goals 11

17. března 2018 v 12:00 | Sandra |  Squad Goals
Fandom: Jurassic World
Pairing: -
Warning: -

Zach's internship doesn't allow him to spend as much time around the paddock as Owen would like. But when he does come over, he offers a new perspective that's much needed

He doesn't see him after that. Yet, somehow, Owen starts feeling weird about it.
Zach's busy. He doesn't have the time to hang around the raptors paddock the same way he did last year. And that's good. It's a great opportunity for him. He might not have been employed last year, but he still helped them around here. So his paid internship is well deserved and Owen wishes him the best with it.
But Owen misses him. God knows why. It's not like he's seen him in the ten months when Zach was home. They didn't even exchange numbers, so they couldn't even text now and again. And he was fine with that. Zach might be incredibly attractive, but he was still just a kid. His eighteenth birthday shouldn't have changed anything about that.
And it's not the fact that he's eighteen now. Not entirely. More like... he seemed more relaxed, more himself. Happier. His eyes bright and posture proud and somehow, that's what makes it impossible for Owen to stop thinking about him.

Besides, hanging out with him last summer was fun and Owen might have been looking forward to do it again this year. But Zach's too busy. Doesn't even come over to his bungalow to hang out after work. And Owen realizes how lonely his bungalow really is. Grilling himself steak isn't as fun as he remembers it being.
He has a routine surrounding the shows for public. He parades his girls around, before letting them run off. He needs to be there for the whole time, if something went wrong or if someone wanted to ask something. He usually takes that time to look around, look at the faces of the people that are watching his girls. Check that everyone is happy, or if not that then at least satisfied. Once the show is over he goes to the guys behind the scenes, making sure there's no problem there. Lastly he checks with security, in the small room full of screens showing cameras from all around the arena - the one on one of his girls, all the stationary ones for public and the few others they have there for security purposes. And some cameras on people, to make sure that nothing goes wrong among them, either.
About two weeks after Zach comes back to the island, he finds him in the small space between the door and the chair for the security guy. He's wearing what has to be his work clothes - a white shirt with short sleeves and with top three buttons open, so that out peaks the equally white tank top underneath it, and black, tight jeans (and holy shit, that ass in those-no, Owen, don't look at his ass, he's hardly eighteen, don't look at his ass!) and his hair is a little bit messy, like he ran his fingers through it throughout the whole day. Owen will never understand how people can wear long trousers in that heat. He also has arms folded on his chest and is biting his lower lip in a thoughtful way.
"Something wrong?"
"Everything's alright," answers James, the security guy, lazily. Owen frowns a little, but just nods thankfully at him. Never a good idea to make an enemy out of a security.
Zach just frowns a little bit more and turns towards the screen where the feed from Echo's camera plays.
"They're... restless, aren't they?"
Owen gives him one fondly amused look.
"You do realize that camera is on Echo, right? She isn't exactly the definition of calm on the best day."
"Maybe, but look at Blue," Zach taps at another screen. Blue is running in a circle there, screeching and sneering. She finds the meat without any problem, yet she keeps running around. Delta gets in her way at one moment and they almost collide. "She's fretful, too. If I'd have to guess, they're feeling..."
"Caged," Owen finishes without looking at Zach. He's jumping from one screen to another, from one raptor to the next.
Zach's right. They're more than just full of energy, ready for a hunt. They're getting restless. And that's dangerous.
How did he not notice?
"We can't keep making shows," he mutters, mostly to himself. But being quiet never was one of his strong suits.

"Aunt Claire will never agree," Zach argues. "The tickets are too damn expensive to just cancel already sold out shows. And they are sold out at least a month in advance. We need to come up with a solution quickly, and if possible without messing with the current timetable."
Owen growls and runs one hand through his hair, frustrated. Mostly with himself.
The girls are his. He knows them the best, he can read them like no one else. He knows very well that they're predators, makes sure that every new employee knows and truly realizes that. So how could he forget about it?
"Caged," he mutters once again, thinking back to the Indominus Rex, how she lived all her life caged in one arena that was too small for her and suddenly feels disgusted with himself.
Sure, his girls have each other and him, but... that doesn't make it better. They used to be at a smaller facility, but he doubts they remember it. And even if they did, they've spent too much time in this arena. It doesn't matter that they have each other, it doesn't matter that they have him. They're still caged.
"We need more space for them."
Zach frowns a little bit, his eyes focused on Owen, but nods.
"That should be... doable. Anything else we can do?" He hesitates, but Owen nods at him to continue. "What about the dead meat? I know they probably don't always get the same animal in there, but..."
"It's still dead meat," Owen nods, easily following Zach's thoughts. "Come on, we can talk on our way out. Either way we need to talk to Claire."
Zach nods and hurries after him. Owen slows down a little when he notices that Zach can't match his quick strides, but not by much.
"We originally used it for a tracking exercise. Of course living animals would be better," he continues their talk without a problem. "But that's just impractical from logistic point of view. Finding enough prey for three different times a day, all the damn time... Not to say what some people would say about that. Animal cruelty and all of that."
"Not if we frame it right." When Owen looks back, Zach has his head bowed down a little, clearly thinking. So he takes his upper arm and steers him the right way. Zach seems to hardly notice. "I can probably take care of that. Ugh, we can," he adds, a little embarrassed. "But never mind that. Aunt Claire is supposed to be in a meeting till seven today."
"We'll just have to check in the operation center if she didn't end up early," shrugs Owen. "You have access there, right?"
"Not really," Zach shrugs. "But I've been there before, so it shouldn't be a problem. We can wait for her in her office. That I have access to."
"Great. Do you still not have your license?"
"Shut up," groans Zach, his laser eyes finally disappearing. Now he simply rolls his eyes, suddenly looking tired. Or maybe it's not so sudden, but suddenly Owen is painfully aware of how soft he is in his tiredness. "Of course I have my license. Took the test again practically the moment I came back home. But considering I walked over here, sure, we can take your bike."

Once again Owen gives Zach his helmet. This time, he doesn't comment that he has only one, just raises his eyebrows at him. Owen rolls his eyes.
"Forgive me for leaving my extra helmet at my bungalow. Again." "Didn't say anything."
Owen get on his bike and while Zach's getting the helmet on starts it. Zach soon follows him, hugging him tightly and Owen tries to ignore how he likes the way Zach's smaller, leaner body presses to his back. He wants to stay still for a moment and just enjoy it, but they have a more pressing matter on their hands, so he takes off almost instantly. It doesn't take long to arrive to the building where most of the important stuff is, including Claire's office and operational center. Owen might have taken the longer route, just to feel Zach pressed close to him, but... what's another minute on the way there, right?
They walk right to the elevator, Owen puts his employee badge towards it and they're let in easily. When the door opens again they're in the middle of operation room. Owen looks behind a little bit, to check on Zach, but he doesn't look impressed.

Damn, is it hard to impress the kid.

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