Summary: While waiting for David and Judy, Becca attempts a conversation with a quiet Russell.
Author: Sakura123 (weber_dubois22)
Characters: Becca Darling; Russell Clank (David and Judy Dutten, mentioned)
Word Count: 1, 443
Disclaimer: The Crazies and all things related are property of Overture Films, George A. Romero and Breck Esiner. I own nothing save [the] storyline and original characters.
Author's Note: For some pretty unreasonable reasons tied to the fact that she's a teenager (and played by Danielle Panabaker), Becca isn't a favorite among those who've watched this film. Honestly, I found her to be a rather sweetheart of a character. She really didn't do anything to merit dislike (besides that one time after her rescue she goes gunning for the McGregor's. Now that was foolish). I also thought Russell was a bit sweet on her, too, but that's my conjecture from what little interaction they had during the film. The initial inspiration to write this came from listening to Pearl Jam's "Black" on repeat. Without really needing to say so, the song is incredibly sad, but it doesn't apply to anything here in the tale other than being a fuel for my muse.
Becca left the baby-to-be's bedroom, knowing she wouldn't be missed by the preoccupied doctor tending to her husbands wound. She was all too glad to get away from the bullet-riddled corpses that were once Peggy and Curt Hamill, the sight of their blood was too much for her to handle. She hurried across the hall and down the stairs. Every instinct in her body told her danger was still afoot and after what she's seen, experienced, Becca wasn't about to let her guard down for a second.
She stepped outside onto the porch, eyes searching for any sign of Russell. It took a moment, but she spotted him making his way back to the barn. His gait was unworried, his shoulders relaxed as if this were any other day and not the crisis that kept them all on guard and looking over their shoulders. That worried her. Hesitantly, she retreated back into the house to change out of the hospital duds they forced her in. Judy paid no mind to her as she ventured into their bedroom, she hoped the doctor wouldn't mind her borrowing clothes. Becca grabbed the first shirt and pair of pants she set her eyes on. When she was dressed, she slipped back into the deputy's jacket and kicked the ugly blue rags under the bed, out of sight.
Rubbing her hands together, Becca made her way back downstairs. The faint rumble of an engine made her pause; the memory of watching military trucks surround her house came to mind and for a moment, she wanted to hide. Approaching the doorway, however, all she saw was the old cruiser coming to a halt and Russell climbing out of the driver seat, Scotty's rifle at the ready.
Russell leaned against the car with a weary sigh. His eyes scanned the horizon for danger. He pretended not to notice Becca until she was only a few feet away from the car. "Sorry, I didn't come back to help," She apologized. Russell sniffed the air and wiggled his nose so as not to itch it. "S'okay, I managed on my own," He replied, eyeing his jacket.
Becca raised her arm. "Do you want this back?" She asked.
Russell waved her off. "Nah, you can keep it," He said.
Becca toyed with the frayed ends of the cuffs, counting two new holes since he offered the jacket to her. The wind howled across the deserted plains, nipping at her hair and exposed skin. Becca tucked her hair behind her ears to prevent it from getting into her face. "Are you alright, deputy Clank?" She inquired. Russell gave her a pointed look, wondering if she was trying to imply something behind the guise of concern. "I'm fine, Becca. Why wouldn't I be?" Russell replied with a shrug. "What about you? Are you alright?" The question was not without its sarcasm. Part of Becca had half a mind to get into an argument with the deputy but thought better of it.
Russell looked more than inclined to shoot anyone who so much as annoyed him. Swallowing against the rough patch in her throat, Becca made her way toward the passenger side of the cruiser. As she opened the door, she saw the irritated scowl pass over the deputy's pallor face, his gaze focused on the house. "What's takin' them so long?" He muttered.
"Judy's still patching sheriff Dutten up," Becca replied. "The cut was pretty bad."
"Was it?" Russell didn't even think to check if Chief had been harmed in the confrontation, his entire focus had been on eliminating the immediate threat that were the Hamill's. Becca nodded, a sympathetic expression graced her small features when she saw guilt contort the deputy's face. They sat in uncomfortable silence like cats waiting to spring to safety. The morning light was becoming increasingly brighter as time went on. Russell's frustrated sighs and the sound of his feet dragging across the ground were beginning to make her uneasy. What was taking those two so long?
"What's the first thing you're gonna do when we get outta here?" It took Becca a moment to realize the question wasn't in her head, but from the man standing across from her. She turned to regard him. Russell was staring out into the space ahead of them. He cut his eyes over to her and a grin graced his thin lips. Becca, for the first time since this all began, was at a loss for words. What was she going to when (or if) they got out Ogden Marsh? With exception of Mrs. Dutten, everyone she knew or cared about was dead or gone mad from the contaminated water. Would there even be a point in continuing without them? Finally, Becca shrugged. "I dunno. Take a shower until the water gets cold?" She replied. "You?"
Russell bit the inside of his mouth in contemplation as he readjusted his cap. "Fall off the grid, live someplace nobody knows me, maybe?" Russell replied tentatively. "Drink a whole six pack in a park?" Becca felt the laugh in her throat before she could stop it. She clamped her hand over her mouth and smothered it to no avail. The slight incline of his head meant he heard the laughter. She half-expected the deputy to scowl at her, instead he smiled wearily at her and shook his head. 'Kids', he was probably thinking, but he could not have been any more than ten years her senior at best. Just a 'kid' himself, especially when compared to the sheriff. "You think that's funny?" He inquired.
Becca shook her head. "No, no, I just-" She paused. "Really? You're serious about the whole six pack in the park thing?" Russell shrugged his shoulders, his expression was somewhere between amused and slighted. "It was the best I could come up with on such short notice," Russell argued.
"Oh, I'm sure."
The moment was shattered by what sounded like wood snapping in the distance. Russell had the rifle raised in a second. He crouched slightly as he surveyed the landscape, left to right, front to back. Becca tried to make herself as small a target as possible by lifting her legs and shielding herself with the door. An eternity seemed to pass before they caught sight of a dog exiting the barn, a ragged hand in his mouth. Becca let out a squeak of dismay, Russell motioned for her to be quiet.
The dog, clearly rabid (or worse), paid them no mind. Satisfied with the hand in its mouth, the canine took off into the field. Russell followed its path until it vanished from sight. Lowering the rifle back down, he resumed his relaxed position against the car. Becca lowered her feet back to the ground with a weary sigh. She peered through the half-rolled window at Russell. "Do you think the animals can get sick too?" She asked. "Russell?"
He didn't respond. He kept his attention on the world ahead, his expression blank.
The front door of the Dutten house opened and its occupants stepped out onto the porch. Becca watched as Russell turned to meet the wary gaze of Dr. Dutten and felt her throat go dry all over again.