|Louder Than Words
Author: Clea2011 PM
Jess appears to lose interest and move onto another man, and Becker realises he might actually have to do the chasing himself if he wants to win her back.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Becker & Jess P. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,984 - Reviews: 29 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 08-03-12 - Published: 07-26-12 - id: 8362091
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Jess barely spoke to him on Wednesday.
He knew he deserved it, but couldn't quite bring himself to apologise. Fortunately there were two anomalies to take his mind off it, although Matt seemed to be getting far more direction on the one he was dealing with than the monosyllabic instructions Becker received.
By Thursday though, he couldn't stand it.
For one thing, he couldn't get the image of Jess in that silk kimono and those scarlet heels out of his head. The thought of someone else with their hands all over her was unbearable. And the thought that she seemed so happy with this man, that she might never give him up and that they might end up married or something horrible like that. That hadn't happened yet, and he wasn't going to give her up without a fight no matter what Abby and Matt said.
Another problem (and quite a big one) was that Jess was still not speaking to him. In order to win her back he was going to have to apologise, and to be very, very careful about what he said to her.
Against his better judgement, he went to a nearby branch of Thorntons and chose a large, fancy-looking box of their finest. A bar of Dairy Milk was far better value and less sickly but the smart boxes seemed to get a better reaction, judging by the success of the shoe pervert. He left them on her chair with a note then waited for her to get back from lunch and find them.
When she did, she opened the little note, smiled, and tucked it into her handbag. Then she opened up the box and took a few moments to choose a particularly succulent chocolate before popping it into her mouth. Taking that as a good sign, he got up and went over to the ADD.
Jess's smile immediately faded, and she put the box to one side. "What?"
Evidently the chocolates were not as well-received as he thought.
"Did you like the chocolates?"
"Yes," she answered warily.
"So are we okay now?" he ventured. It didn't look like it.
Jess frowned. "They're from you?"
"You just read the card."
She retrieved it from her bag and quickly looked at it again, frowning slightly. "Oh. Yes. Sorry, I thought... never mind. Yes, apology accepted, thank you for the chocolates."
The sleazy boyfriend had obviously done something to upset her, Becker realised. The timing might well be perfect, especially as no chocolates or flowers appeared to be arriving from that quarter at the moment. He was even getting a small smile. It was an embarrassed one, but a smile nonetheless.
"So, I wondered if I could take you for a quick drink after work, just to apologise properly."
"You mean just to run my boyfriend down some more."
"No, I promise not to mention him." Running him down was quite a good idea though. Becker wondered if he could find a quiet road somewhere with no witnesses.
"Okay. Just a very quick drink though, I have to start packing."
He agreed to that. It would either be quick, or she wouldn't be packing at all. Although, as she'd still paid for the trip he could just go with her instead. If only he could make her choose him.
Becker had never found an afternoon pass so quickly. He wasn't a nervous person, but he was dwelling on the pending time alone with Jess, and what he was going to say to her, and how she was going to react far more than he thought was healthy. He kept going over and over it in his head, and the more he thought about it, the worse it got. He even tried making a few notes on what he wanted to say, but it wasn't a subject that came easily to him.
5:30 arrived, and he made his way over to the ADD. Jess still looked a little wary, but picked up her bag, called goodnight to one of her colleagues, and followed him to the car park.
Because they were both driving, he ended up taking her to a coffee shop just up the road. It was quiet, but he would have preferred a pub. Apart from anything else he could use a proper drink. Taking their coffees to a corner table, they sat down.
That was the point at which Becker realised he wasn't going to be able to do it. He knew what he wanted to say to her, but the thought of pouring his heart out was totally repugnant to him. He sat there, looking at his coffee.
Jess watched him. "So," she said after a few moments silence stretched out into a whole minute. "Was there something you wanted to say, or are we going to sit here meditating? I really do have to pack, we're leaving straight after work tomorrow."
"Don't go," he managed to blurt out. It shocked him almost as much as it did her.
"It's booked. And I want to go. It's only a weekend."
"Go...go with me instead!" He knew this wasn't coming out the way he wanted it to, and cringed inwardly at his own weakness. Honestly, he was a trained soldier, getting this pathetic over some girl. But it wasn't just some girl. It was his Jess, and he wasn't going to give her up without a fight.
Jess stared at him in shock, but recovered quickly. "Why?"
"Because I... I don't want you going with him. I hate seeing you with someone else."
"Why?" she asked again, very softly.
It was rather unfair that she'd got over her crush on him, and that somewhere along the line she'd become the one in control. Life had been so much easier when he could just gently tease her and make her blush, or make her gabble out some embarrassing comment that had his men laughing for weeks. He was well aware of the irony now that he was the one gabbling.
"Because he's not good enough for you."
"But you don't know him."
"I know he's not good enough for you! He's making you pay for everything, ripping you off!"
"He's really not, you have to trust me on that. And you did promise not to mention him," she added. "I've still not heard a good reason to give him up, or any reason other than that you don't like the idea of me going out with him."
He couldn't say it. This was too difficult. Facing down a pack of hungry future predators was child's play compared to this.
"I don't like the idea of you going out with him," he admitted. "I liked things the way they were."
Jess nodded. "I know. Did you think I'd wait around for you to make a move forever?"
He couldn't answer that without making her angry, so he chose not to say anything. She took that as an answer in itself.
"I see. Well, Becker, even now all I'm hearing is that this is all about you and what you want. The difference is, the guy I'm seeing now saw what he wanted and went for it. That's all you had to do, and you've had a very long time to do it." Jess got to her feet.
"I think we're done. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Night, Becker." Jess turned and quickly walked out of the coffee shop. The door had closed behind her long before he could think of anything to say. He could see her trotting down the street in her bright blue heels, her hair held in a low pony tail that swung gently in time with her step.
She wanted him to give her a reason, and it was just everything about her, but he was never going to be the kind of person who could pour out his heart, not to anyone. There was only one reason, but he'd realised it too late, not recognising it for what it was.
But the only thing left of her there that he hadn't lost was the lipstick mark on her half-finished mug of coffee. Everything else was gone.
On Friday Becker took a sickie.
Captain Becker had never taken a sickie in his entire life. Even valid sick days were something he avoided as much as possible. When he'd got the flu and a temperature of nearly 104 he'd come into the ARC to report for duty. Admittedly Sarah had driven him straight home, then cursed him for a month afterwards when she went down with it.
Because of this, people were suspicious. Connor and Matt both called him to see what was up. Lester apparently knew what was up, and told him so when he called in, although it appeared to be an educated guess rather than any indiscretion on Jess's part. It was only a delay of the inevitable, and he would still have to face Jess on Monday along with whatever horrible developments had occurred over the weekend. But at least he didn't have to listen to all the excitement over Paris, and see the girls admiring whatever risqué underwear had been purchased for the break.
On Saturday he was so disgusted with himself for taking the day off that he went in and wrote up all his outstanding reports, of which there were quite a few because Becker hated any sort of paperwork. Then he spent an hour or so on the firing range, before going for a long workout in the gym. It did sort of work, as he was too tired when he got home to do anything other than sleep.
On Sunday, he went for a long run in a nearby park. When he got home, he found Abby sitting on his doorstep. He still felt a little betrayed by her, but let her in anyway, leaving her to make herself a coffee while he had a quick shower and changed.
She was waiting with a second coffee which she handed to him when he came back out to the kitchen.
"Do you trust me?" She asked.
"Not much at the moment, no."
Abby ignored that. "Jess texted me earlier. He's moving in with her."
"What?" Abby was just full of good news. He wished he'd left her on the doorstep. "She's been with him less than two weeks!"
"Mmm. Well, some people move a bit quicker than others. So, when you come to work tomorrow it might be a bit awkward."
"I'm taking some leave," he said quickly.
"No you're not. Come in and work with me in the menagerie, I need someone to help hold the animals while they have their shots. It'll take all morning."
He shook his head. "No. I'm due about two months leave. I can take some."
"You can't avoid it forever."
"Actually I can. Like I said, I have two months due to me. And I'm going to ask for a reassignment. Chasing round after dinosaurs is getting a bit boring, and my team's pretty good. There are several men who could take over. So. No problem."
"You once told me this was the best job you ever had."
"Yeah, I was drunk, and Jess... things were different. It's not the best job now."
Abby sighed. "Look, just give me until lunchtime tomorrow. I promise you that everything will be okay by tomorrow afternoon. But you have to come into work. And you have to trust me. Can you do that?"
He could trust her, possibly. But come into work and face Jess? That was going to be a tall order.
Abby seemed to understand this. "I'll call round in the morning. You can give me a lift in."
He nodded, wondering why Jess couldn't understand things without being told? If she did, things would've been a lot less complicated.
Connor dropped Abby off bright and early on Monday morning. Becker had half-hoped that she wouldn't turn up. He'd lain awake for most of the night worrying about what the day would bring. He knew that he didn't want to face Jess and all her entourage who would be coming along to ask her about the holiday.
Abby, however, was as good as her word. She went straight up to the menagerie and found him a whole list of jobs. Most of them involved hauling half-drugged dinosaurs around for her and he was glad of a break when she finally announced that they were finished towards the end of the morning.
Abby had promised that everything would be okay, but he saw no sign of it yet. Worse, when he asked what they were doing next, she told him that they were heading down to the hub. That had definitely not been part of the agreement.
"Abby, I really don't want to go near there today."
Abby sighed. "If it's any help, you won't be. Remember that anomaly a few weeks back? The one that opened in the corridor down there? Connor thinks it went just a couple of weeks into the future. We've gone a couple of weeks into the future ourselves now too, so it should be opening up again any minute."
Becker hated that sort of anomaly. He could already feel the sort of headache coming on that he got whenever he tried to work out how Matt was still with them. "So we need to lock it?"
Abby rolled her eyes. "No, it opens up two weeks ago. Before Jess met her new guy."
"How does that help?"
"Well obviously you go through and make a move before he does!"
"We don't go through anomalies. You know the rules."
"God, I'm really starting to wonder if Jess deserves this. She's pretty smart, you know? We'll just have to pray that if you manage to fix this and you two ever have kids it's her brains they get and not yours! It's your rule, Becker. Break it!"
"I can't do that."
"Why? It's not as if you don't know if it's safe. It's perfectly safe - they have an anally-retentive head of security there making sure it's safe."
Becker frowned at the insult, but let it go. Abby was right on all the other counts, after all. "But that's a problem. I'll be there too... I mean the two weeks ago me."
"Hide! Aren't you supposed to be special forces trained or something? Don't they teach you stealth? Run in and hide in the hub, we all came in from this direction so we won't see you. Tell Jess to cover for you. She's much smarter than you, she'll come up with something."
Again with the insults. Still, it was worth thinking about.
They had been walking, and had reached the corridor. He could see Jess sitting at the ADD, her back to him.
"Tell her you wanted a break, and the only person you trust to take care of us is you. She'll like that."
"I don't know, the anomalies are dangerous, we shouldn't be going through..."
It was opening, right in front of them, filling the corridor. He could no longer see Jess on the other side.
"Just go! Hurry, before they lock it!"
The anomaly alert went off, echoing around the ARC.
"Go!" Abby almost screamed at him, shoving him towards the glowing light. She was quite strong for someone so small and he staggered a few steps forward.
Reliving one of the most miserable two weeks of his life wasn't an ideal situation, but if this really went through to two weeks ago, and Jess really hadn't met that flower-loving, shoe-fancying, poverty-stricken creep then perhaps it would be worth it. And he could always jump straight back if it was the wrong time.
He moved. It was against his better judgement, and against his heavily-enforced rule, and... well, it was just wrong. But if it was a disaster then at least he could blame Abby.
A/N - Thanks for all the reviews and likes on this, that was a nice surprise. There'll be a little break now, as this was the first section of the story, but I'll try to get chapter 5 up in a few weeks. I've written quite a lot of the next section - I just want to get it to a point where I'm happy with it, and happy it ties in with what goes before. And I couldn't comment on the guessing :-)