It had indeed taken much longer than it should have to answer all of the questions the police had. Luckily their questioning began in the early evening instead of late at night, or else they may have been there until the wee hours of the morning. It was after eleven o'clock by the time the police were finally satisfied. Becker wanted to be angry with them, but he knew they needed to be thorough. If they didn't ask enough questions, the event wouldn't be documented correctly, and Miles could walk free.
Linda looked more exhausted now than John had ever seen her look during the entire time he had known her, "I'll drive you home," he offered when the police had finally left.
Linda looked uneasy, but nodded, "okay," she accepted his request.
The drive wasn't long, maybe fifteen minutes. For the first few minutes, there was an uncomfortable silence, but then Linda began to talk. Becker figured she must hate silence, because she was almost constantly talking.
"Thanks for driving me home," Linda said, "and for fixing my arm and stuff, and letting me stay over that one night when I was really drunk. You're being much nicer lately than you used to be."
"Well... don't get used to it," Becker told her, "You're my friend, so I've got to make sure you're alright, but when everything is back to normal, I will be too."
Linda nodded, "I guess it's for the best," she yawned, "I mean, you were a jerk the whole time I've known you... No offense... I'm just saying that I made friends with you even though you're grumpy. If you turned nice, it would just be weird, and you wouldn't be the same person I made friends with. Plus, we both know you're only mean because you don't want people to know you care about them," she smiled.
Becker sighed and rolled his eyes, "Trust me, Linda; there are some people I don't care about, and I'm glad to let them know that."
"But I'm not one of them," she smirked.
Becker couldn't help but smile a little, "no, you're not," he agreed.
She was quiet for a moment. Becker glanced over at her, as it was unusual for Linda to be awake and also silent. She looked tired, and she kept closing her eyes and then opening them as though she was trying to stay awake, but finding it difficult to do so. They were about ten more minutes from Linda's apartment.
"If you need to take tomorrow off from work, I'm sure Margaret will understand," Becker interrupted the silence.
Linda shook her head, "no," she persisted, "I'll be fine. What am I gonna do anyway? Just sit around my house all alone? I could call up one of my friends, but they will all be at work... I don't want to just do nothing tomorrow. I go to work everyday because I want to, not because I have to... I mean, I don't like getting up early-"
"You don't get up early," Becker smirked.
Linda nodded, "yeah... but I do like going to work, and I like working for you, as long as you've had your daily cigarette quota."
"Well..." Becker wasn't good with all the sappy-caring-friendship talk, "Uh, I like to have you working for me... even though you don't work. Your... uh... presence makes people happy."
Linda nodded and leaned her head back against the seat, "I'm glad I make people happy," she said, sounding like she was falling asleep.
Becker kept driving. Silence fell over the car again. He didn't mind though. His only concern was that he knew under normal circumstances, Linda was constantly talking. When she was quiet, it was weird. He glanced over at her again, and he understood why she wasn't talking: she had fallen asleep.
They drove for a few more minutes before they had reached Linda's apartment. Becker parked his car in front of her building and looked over at her. She looked relatively peaceful. He felt guilty waking her up, but he knew he had to do it, "Linda," he said softly as he gently shook her shoulder, "we're here."
Linda opened her eyes and looked around. She looked up at her apartment and then looked at Dr. Becker. She reached for the door handle of the car to get out, but hesitated, "Will you come up with me?" she asked, "I know it sounds stupid, and you'll think I'm being dumb and irrational, but Miles was in there when I left... I know he's not in there now, but I still don't want to go up there all by myself," she rambled.
"Sure," Becker agreed easily, "I don't think you're being irrational at all. You've been through a lot today. I'd be kind of nervous about being alone too."
He followed her up to her apartment, staying close behind her, but not saying anything. She was abnormally quiet, but she was probably very tired. It was odd to be with her and at the same time hear only silence.
She opened the door and went inside, but didn't walk very far into the apartment. She turned around and looked at Becker as though he should lead the way, or as though she wasn't sure what she was supposed to do.
"Maybe you should look around and make sure he didn't take anything," Becker suggested. If he had been there all day, he might have stolen something. Her apartment was pretty nice.
Linda nodded and made her way around the apartment, ending up in her bedroom. She found her purse and looked through its contents, then she turned around to Becker, "everything's still here... as far as I can tell... I guess he didn't want any of this stuff."
"Maybe," Becker said, "or maybe he had planned on coming back so he felt no need to take anything just yet."
Linda nodded, "I guess so."
Becker sighed. Linda still looked shaken. He really didn't want to leave her here. He knew she'd be physically fine, but he didn't want her sitting up all night all by herself. Miles was locked away, and Linda knew that, but she still appeared to be quite nervous, and was currently looking at her bed as though she didn't know what to do with it.
"I think I'll throw this out," she said, "Miles slept in it... I don't want it anymore... I'll ask my parents to get me a new one."
"Okay..." Becker said, not really knowing what to say to that. He couldn't really know how she felt. He thought it would probably work fine to just wash the sheets, or get new ones at most, but if Linda wanted the whole bed gone, he supposed she could afford it, so it wasn't a big deal, and it made no difference to him.
"I'm going to sleep on the couch," Linda said, walking passed Becker, "close that door when you're done in there," she instructed.
"Do you need any pillows or blankets or anything?" Becker asked.
Linda shook her head, "No... Well... There are some in my closet, but I can get them. Actually I'm going to take a shower really quick. I'll get the blankets when I get out... you can leave if you want to."
"Do you want me to?" Becker asked. He didn't think she did, but he didn't want to stay if she didn't even want him to.
"Maybe you can stay until I'm out of the shower," Linda suggested.
"Okay," Becker agreed.
"Thank you," she said, "I'll only be a little while... I'll try to go fast."
Becker nodded and she left, leaving him to look around her apartment.
He had been here before, but it still amazed him that such a strange, quirky, spacey girl would live in such an elegant place. Anyone meeting Linda for the first time would probably assume she lived in some run down apartment. She dressed nicely (by her standards) in clothing that was not cheap, but not too expensive, but she worked at a job where the pay was very low. Anyone would be shocked to discover that she could afford to live here. Becker knew he was when he first visited her.
He decided he would retrieve the extra blankets and pillows for Linda so she wouldn't have to when she got out of the shower. She had quite a large stash of them. Many of the blankets looked like something you might see at a twelve year old girl's slumber party. Linda probably did use these for slumber parties. Why else would she have so many?
Becker smiled and shook his head. Linda was so strange. She was an adult, yet she was always so happy and child-like on so many levels. John remembered when he was her age, he was much more of a grumpy adult. He was always complaining about the government, stupid people, organized religion, and whatever else ticked him off. He wasn't miserable, but he wasn't generally happy either. He felt it was important to be responsible and independent, and was much more concerned with financial success than happiness and fun. While Linda's lack of desire to grow up frustrated him sometimes, he actually admired that she was able to be so cheerful all the time, and he knew he could never pull it off himself.
Thinking about this made him wonder how Miles could do all of the things he did. Linda sometimes said some brutally honest things, but she had never said or done anything that would warrant being hit, having her arm twisted, or being threatened with a knife. She was so innocent and child-like; No matter how frustrating she might be sometimes, she didn't deserve to actually be physically hurt. People like Miles made him sick. He shook the thought out of his head and made his way into the living room.
Becker put a pillow and blanket on one of Linda's sofas. He then sat down on the other sofa and started watching television. He turned the volume fairly low, since it was almost midnight by now, and he didn't want to wake anyone else in the building.
Before long, Linda emerged, wearing pajamas consisting of pajama bottoms and a t-shirt that was too big for her. The t-shirt allowed the bruises on her arms to be visible. She must have seen him looking at her arms, because she made a feeble effort to pull the short sleeves down farther. She had taken the bandage off her neck, but it wasn't bleeding anymore, since the cut hadn't been very deep at all. It was about an inch long, and would heal in no time.
She sat down on the couch where Becker had put the blanket and pillow and looked over at him as he sat on the other couch, "what are you going to do now?" she asked.
Becker shrugged, "go home I guess," he said, looking at her. He could tell she wanted to say something but was hesitating to say it, "unless you want me to stay..."
"Would you really?" she asked. He could tell she was suppressing excitement, as though she really wanted him to stay over, but wasn't wanting to get her hopes up just yet in case he changed his mind.
"I could stay a little while," Becker offered, "maybe until you fall asleep? Whatever makes you feel better. I don't want to leave if you're still scared."
Linda looked down as though she was ashamed, "I know it's stupid that I feel so nervous," she said, "because I know he's not here, and there's no way he could get here... But I really don't want to be here all alone."
"So..." Becker began, not sure what she wanted. Did she really want him to spend the whole night here? "How long do you want me to stay?" he asked.
Linda hesitated, "I've got two couches..." she said, seemingly implying that Becker could spend the night on the extra one.
"You want me to stay over then?" Becker asked, "All night? I'd be happy to if it'll make you feel better. But we won't make a habit of it. And don't tell Margaret I was nice to you. I'll never hear the end of it."
Linda smiled, "It'll be our little secret."
They sat for a moment, not speaking. Then Linda broke the silence again.
"Um... Do you want a drink or something?" she asked.
"No thanks," Dr. Becker responded, "I think I'm going to try to get some sleep before work. I'm going to get some more blankets. Do you mind if I bring your alarm clock in here so we can hear it when it goes off?"
"Hey," Linda beamed, "that's a good idea. I would have never thought of that. I was wondering if I'd hear it all the way in there, but if you just bring it in here, it'll probably wake us up."
Becker nodded, "yeah... probably." He went and retrieved another pillow and blanket as well as Linda's alarm clock. When he returned, he threw the pillow and blanket onto the couch and plugged the alarm clock into the closest electrical outlet he could find. He set the alarm and placed it on the end-table at the arm of the sofa where he would sleep. He looked over at Linda, who was now laying down, curled up so that she was only on one of the cushions of the couch, and the arm rest. She was watching him.
"You want me to leave the TV on?" Becker asked.
"It doesn't matter to me," she said, "I can sleep under almost any circumstances. If you want the background noise, you can leave it on. I really don't care either way."
Becker nodded and turned the television off. He proceeded to get up to turn off the lights and double check that the door was locked. All the while, Linda's eyes followed his every move. He came back and laid down. It was dark, but the street lights and moon made it light enough that they could still see a little. As she laid on the couch parallel to his, Linda was smiling and still looking at him.
Becker sighed, "Could you stop staring at me? You're making me nervous."
Linda turned so that she was laying on her back looking up at the ceiling, "Sorry," she said, "you just reminded me of when I was little and I'd tell my dad to check my room for monsters. He'd look all around, kind of like how you walked around to turn off lights and check the door. Except he'd never sleep in my room, no matter how scared I told him I was. He said I was being irrational, because monsters don't exist."
"Well," Becker began, "to be fair, he was right; monsters don't exist. Unless you mean politicians."
Linda laughed, "It's still a good memory, even though I was scared when he left. Because while he checked my room, I didn't feel scared anymore. It was nice."
"That's good," Becker said, ready to end their chit-chat and finally get some sleep, "good memories are... uh... good..."
"Yeah," Linda agreed, "maybe someday this will be a good memory for me."
"What will?" Becker asked, "staying up all night because you won't stop talking?"
Linda laughed again, "you know what I mean, Dr. Becker. It'll be fun to remember how you stayed over even though I'm scared for an irrational reason, just like when I was a kid."
"Yeah, maybe," he said, hoping Linda would find a stopping point soon.
"And no matter how grumpy you are tomorrow, or the next day, and no matter how much you complain and grumble and yell at me," she continued, "I'll always remember that you took the time to make sure I wasn't scared. I'll always have this memory, of you being a really good friend."
Becker sighed loudly, "Are you finished?" he complained.
"You can complain all you want, because the memory is already there," Linda beamed.
Becker shook his head, smiling to himself, "goodnight Linda," he said.
"Good night, Dr. Becker," she said.
"I'm waking you up at seven o'clock," he added.
Linda was quiet for a moment. Then she turned over and looked at him, "really?" she didn't look enthused.
Becker nodded, "really," he confirmed.
"Well... I guess Margaret can be impressed that I'm there on time again," Linda said, "and this time I can tell her that I'm the one who made sure you were on time," she added.
"You better not. You can't tell her I stayed over," Becker insisted, "Remember? Don't tell Margaret I was nice... She'll mis-interpret it and think I am actually nice. If word gets around that I care about people, who knows what will happen... I don't want people asking me for favours all the time."
"Okay. I won't say anything," Linda agreed, "But does this mean I can ask you for favours?"
"Good night, Linda," he said again, turning over to face away from her and to signify that he was done talking for tonight.
"Good night," Linda also repeated, "and thank you for staying."
Becker didn't say anything, but merely nodded. He didn't know if Linda saw this nod or not. Either way, it wouldn't matter. She had an image of him in her head that wouldn't change no matter how negative or rude he was. He appreciated it, and was glad he could be there for her. Even though she annoyed him sometimes, or rather most of the time, he really did care about her, and about all of his friends but he wasn't going to talk about it all night.
He felt a sick feeling in his stomach when he thought about what Miles had done, and how he had held a knife so close to Linda's neck. He felt sick when he thought that Miles could have killed her. He felt a strong sense of hatred towards the man who had hurt his friend, but he also felt a stronger sense of relief knowing that Linda was now safe from him.
He was glad that everything was resolved and hoped things would be back to normal soon. Linda was already seemingly feeling better about the situation. He always thought she was very resilient and her emotions were quick to would probably forget all about this and be back to her old self in a matter of days. Linda was still annoying, Becker was still grumpy, Margaret of course would never change, and Becker knew things in the office would be back to normal in no time.
I'm not very good at endings... I say this every time I finish a story, and maybe I just hate how everything comes to an end and that means there is no more story... but I think I've hated every ending I've ever written. I don't usually like other people's endings either... Maybe I just hate endings in general...
At any rate, this is the end. I hope you liked it, and I hope it wasn't too cheesy. I tried to keep everyone in character...
Thank you to everyone who read, and especially to those of you who reviewed.
If you can think of another Becker topic you want written on (especially about the characters I wrote about in this one, since they are my favouirtes) feel free to let me know and I might be interested in writing it if you don't want to write it yourself. Becker is a great show, and I think there should be more Becker stories on here.