Abby scanned the faces in the hub as she exited the elevator, worried when Connor wasn't immediately among them. She wasn't really sure what he was so upset about, sure he had made his interest in her obvious when they had first met, but since he'd met Caroline whatever affections he'd had for her seemed all but forgotten. That was half the reason she hadn't told him who she suspected of giving her that ring. The other half being that she didn't really want to admit her feelings to herself.
She would be lying to herself if she claimed she'd never considered Connor as a romantic option for herself. Sure, at first he had seemed to be little more than an immature annoyance, but over time he had grown to be her best friend, proving himself to be loyal and kind and funny, traits she was often guilty of severely undervalued in her romantic partners which was likely why her relationships tended to end badly. Not to mention that their job had helped Connor mature and fill out a little more and, well, she couldn't help starting to notice him a little more. But then Caroline had come into their lives. It was far too cliche for her taste, but she couldn't deny that her interest in Connor had become much more prominent once he had become unavailable. She had gotten far too used to being the center of his attention and now that he was giving that attention to someone else, she was feeling a little desperate to get it back. Maybe that was part of why she had asked him to stay with her last night, to prove that she could still command his attention. But then that hadn't really worked out for her, had it? He had just seemed upset and uncomfortable with the whole situation, which made sense when she thought of how often and how adamantly she had pushed him away when he showed any interest in her.
Maybe that's why he wasn't picking up on the signs that she was, she realized, her stomach twisting a little with guilt. Maybe because of the way she treated him, he saw what she suspected was evidence of a possible relationship as her just leading him on. Again. Maybe she was, but there was something about the secret smiles they shared and the casual touches they were so clearly trying to hold back from… she wouldn't do that just to break his heart again, would she? She liked to think not.
"You're worrying again."
A wave of relief washed over her as she heard his voice, but stopped quickly when she turned to see that it wasn't her Connor making his way towards her. She tried to keep that off her face, "What?"
"You're worrying." He repeated, "You get that little crinkle in your nose when you're worrying about something. My Abby was making that same face all morning."
"She's worried we're going to mess up her life." Abby guessed.
"Can you blame her?" He raised an eyebrow, crossing his arms over his chest as he leaned against the railing outside Lester's office, "I'm a little worried about it myself."
"No, I guess not." She shrugged, "Would you even know if things changed?"
"Probably not." He admitted, sounding wiser than she ever expected from her Connor, "I could wake up tomorrow and everything I love could be gone and I'd likely never know the difference. Does that make it better or worse?
"I don't know." She admitted in return, then hesitated, "I think… I think I did something stupid."
"That's usually my job." He joked, but when she didn't laugh, he motioned for her to continue.
"I noticed… that the other Abby was wearing a ring." He went very still as she spoke, "I should have pretended I didn't notice, but I didn't. I asked about it and my Connor got really upset and now I don't know where he's gone."
"He can't have gotten far." He offered comfortingly, though he kept his eyes very carefully trained on the floor, "And why do you reckon he's so upset?"
"I don't know. He thinks I'm married… she's married." Abby shifted uncomfortably, rubbing her face with one hand, "I think he thinks that's it, he doesn't have a chance because she's gone and married someone."
Connor finally glanced up at her, a solemn look in his eyes, "Does he? Have a chance?"
"I don't know! He's the one who went out and got himself a stupid girlfriend." She snapped, then winced as he flinched, "Sorry. I forgot for a second that you're…"
"No, you're right." He shrugged, "But you also never gave me any reason not to. To think you might be interested."
"I'm not… I don't know that I am interested in that way." She frowned, "I just know I hate Caroline."
A funny look flickered across his face, but it was gone before she really had a chance to identify it, "Right… Caroline."
"She is so fake." Abby complained, "She is so fake and sketchy and he doesn't even seem to notice. How can he not notice?"
"Abs, I am… very bad at social queues." Connor pointed out, "For reasons that you should probably talk to your Connor about."
"Can't you just tell me?" She whined.
"I already told you once." He shrugged, "It's his turn now."
"Jerk." She accused.
He chuckled in return, which only proved to annoy her further until he sobered slightly, giving her a curious look, "Can I ask… what makes you think he shouldn't be upset?"
It was her turn to avoid his gaze, squeezing her eyes shut and tilting her head back as she gave a frustrated sigh, "She… she doesn't look at you like I look at my mates."
"I wish I could help you sort this out. Tell you which one of you is right." He sighed, shoving his fingers through his hair, "But I've already said too much. I'm risking losing the one person I love more than anything else in the world."
"Connor," She scoffed, "You're my best mate. Even if we don't get together, it's not like I'm going to just abandon you."
"I'm not talking about you."
She was a little taken aback by that. It was a little self centered to assume he was talking about her, but from the way they looked at each other, she couldn't imagine there was anyone else he'd be describing like that. Unless…? She thought back to the other odd discovery of the morning. Plastic Dinosaurs. The kind you would buy for a child. She faltered slightly, "Wait, do you have…?"
"Abby?" She trailed off as Cutter and her future self came up the stairs behind Connor, both giving the two of them a curious look, "We're heading to the menagerie now, if you want to come along?"
Abby hesitated. She wanted to see the menagerie, of course, but she was burning with questions. One look at Connor's face made up her mind for her. He wasn't going to answer any more questions. Not right now. Taking a deep breath, she forced a smile, following her future self to back towards the elevators, "Right, yes, let's do that..."