Thanks for the reviews for my first Becker/Jess story – here's another one that came to me the other day. I have quite a few other ideas... I've definitely fallen hard for these two! Please let me know what you think of this one.
Sweet Like Chocolate
Becker didn't consider himself a trigger-happy kind of guy, despite the fact that he spent a great deal of his time with a gun in his hand. He didn't shoot things for fun, or get any pleasure from having to kill anything, even the most dangerous of the creatures they faced.
Right now, though, he was definitely enjoying ripping a target to shreds using a semi-automatic machine gun. The fact that he was possibly imagining the target to be a certain Junior Home Office Liaison Officer was beside the point. A certain charming, smart, handsome Junior Home Office Liaison Officer... Becker took aim and fired until the target split in two and fell to the ground.
"So here you are."
Becker didn't bother to turn around – instead he just reached for another clip.
"Here I am," he deadpanned. "What do you want, Matt?"
Matt walked over to the counter Becker was standing in front of, changing the clip in his gun. He span round so he was standing with his back to the counter, and lounged back on his elbows, smirking at Becker.
"Working out some frustrations, are we?" Matt said, still smirking.
Becker narrowed his eyes but stayed focus on the gun. He'd finished changing the clip, and so he put the safety on and laid it carefully on the counter.
"I don't know what you mean," he said through gritted teeth.
Matt rolled his eyes. "Of course not," he said. "Well, I thought you'd like a warning... Foster's looking for you."
Becker looked at Matt for the first time. "What? Why?" He demanded.
Matt shrugged. "I don't know," he said. "I just heard him asking Connor where you might be."
Becker struggled to keep his expression neutral. "Why would I need a warning?" He asked, turning back to his gun and picking it up again.
"Well – I thought it would be bad if he surprised you and you shot him." Matt gave Becker a pointed look, which Becker chose to ignore by taking the safety off the gun and taking aim – he belatedly realised he'd destroyed the target with his last shot.
At that moment Matt cleared his throat, looking at the entrance to the firing range. Becker didn't need to turn around – the aura of Perfect Man was already filling the room.
"Hey Foster," Matt said cheerfully.
"Hi," Foster replied. "I just wanted a word with Captain Becker."
"Well, I just leaving, so perfect timing," Matt said. He met Becker's eye and raised an eyebrow at him. Becker raised one back. Matt looked pointedly down at the safety catch on the machine gun. Becker rolled his eyes and switched it back on.
Matt patted Becker on the shoulder and headed out of the room, leaving him alone with Foster.
Becker took a deep breath and turned to face him. "What can I do for you, Foster?" He asked.
Foster, rising star of the Home Office and probable ex-male model, grinned and walked towards him. "Call me Mark," he said jovially. Becker fought down the urge to punch him in his perfect face.
"What can I do for you, Mark?" He asked.
Foster's grin turned a little bit rueful. "It's a bit embarrassing actually..." he said. He looked past Becker and his eyes widened. "Wow... is that a machine gun?"
Becker nodded. Mark took a few steps closer, staring. "I've never seen one in real life," he said.
Becker smirked. "Oh – well, allow me," he said. He turned back to the gun, took the safety off and, since the target in front was destroyed, aimed at the one diagonally to his right. He let off a round, obliterating the circle on the chest of the target. He looked over his shoulder at Foster.
Foster was standing with his mouth open, gaping at the target. Becker couldn't help another smirk, but then Foster's face broke into a grin. "That was amazing!" He exclaimed. "I definitely feel better knowing you're watching our backs."
He was so genuine. Damn him.
Becker put the safety back on, put the gun down and turned to face him properly. "So what was the embarrassing thing you wanted to talk about?" He asked.
Foster smiled again. "You're close with Jess, right?"
Becker's face froze. "What do you mean by close?"
"You're good friends, aren't you?" Said Foster. "I see you together quite a lot, and she's always talking about you."
Becker had a feeling he knew where this was heading, and he had a sudden urge to pick up the gun again. He folded his arms.
"We're friends, of course we are," he said. "So?"
"So, I want to ask her out," Matt said. "And I thought maybe you could suggest somewhere to take her. I want it to be special."
This was not happening. Except that it was – of course it was. It was bound to happen some day. He should be happy for her. Foster was a great guy... just a little too great. Ugh.
"Sorry, we don't really spend much time together outside of work," Becker said, glad to sidestep that question – he wasn't feeling particularly charitable. Besides, he was sure perfect Foster didn't need his help coming up with the perfect date.
Foster nodded, not looking too disappointed. "Of course," he said. "No worries, I'll think of something." He started to head towards the door again, but stopped suddenly and turned back. "I know what else I wanted to ask – do you know what kind of chocolate she prefers?"
Becker's arms tightened. "Chocolate?" He said weakly.
Foster nodded, smiling. Again. Seriously, did this guy never stop smiling? "Corny I know, but I wanted to buy her some," he said. "Any ideas?"
He couldn't. He couldn't possibly. He just couldn't.
Foster smiled again.
He totally could.
"Anything with orange in it," Becker said. "Doesn't matter what brand – just as long as there's orange."
Foster nodded. "Chocolate orange –got it." He smiled again. "Thanks, Becker."
Becker smiled back. "No problem at all," he said.
Foster left, and Becker turned back to his machine gun, a sly grin on his face. He suddenly felt so much better.
By the time Becker had returned the machine gun to the armoury and changed to leave for the day, he was starting to feel a bit guilty for feeding Foster false information. The guy hadn't done anything wrong. He'd come to the ARC to do a job, which he'd done well; he was a genuinely nice person, a good person, who had just happened to show an interest in Jess. It was hardly surprising; she was smart, sweet, fun, beautiful...
It wasn't Foster's fault that Becker had... unresolved feelings.
He had unresolved feelings. Damn damn damn.
Becker didn't really drink, but he was definitely feeling the need for a beer or ten as he headed down the long corridor towards the exit. He just needed to kick back and relax for once – they'd all been working hard lately, and he was just over-tired. He was sure he'd be able to see things in perspective in the morning.
Then Jess stepped through one of the doors leading onto the corridor, blocking Becker's escape. She spotted him and smiled, dashing any hope of gaining perspective.
"Hey," she said, walking over to him. "Where have you been hiding?"
"I wasn't hiding!" Becker said quickly. "Who said I was hiding?" He was already blaming Matt in his head.
Jess looked slightly taken aback. "No one did... it's just an expression," she said.
"Oh. Right." Becker shifted awkwardly and then shrugged. "I was down in the firing range."
Jess nodded. "Did Mark find you? He was looking for you."
Becker's jaw tightened. "Mark?" He repeated.
"Mr Foster," Jess said, as if Becker didn't know exactly who she was talking about. "From the Home Office."
Becker folded his arms. "Yeah, he found me," he said. "He still here?"
"No, he left a while ago," said Jess. She gave Becker a big, bright smile. "He seems nice, doesn't he?"
Becker's head jerked in a nod. "Very nice," he said tersely. There was a moment of silence, in which Becker tried to stop himself saying anything else, but eventually he couldn't resist. "You two seemed to get on well."
Jess just gave him another smile. "Yeah, we did," she said. Becker looked away, his jaw clenched, and Jess leant round him to try and see his face. "You okay?"
Becker managed to nod. "Fine," he said. "I'm just leaving – it's been a long day."
Jess looked surprised – to be expected, since Becker usually stayed quite late. "Oh. Okay," she said. "I'll see you tomorrow."
On the walk to his car, Becker decided one thing: he definitely didn't feel guilty for lying to Foster.
There was an anomaly alert the next day, which kept Becker's mind on other things for the morning at least. The afternoon he spent avoiding Jess – since he had reports to fill out and a containment to oversee, it wasn't too hard.
Having had time to think about it, Becker had decided his best course of action was to suck it up and stop acting like Foster had actually stolen something from him; Jess wasn't his to get jealous over. He had a feeling she liked him... okay, he knew that she did, she wasn't exactly great a subtle, but he'd never made any kind of a move. He'd never been ready, or realised the strength of his own feelings... and, he was ashamed to admit, he'd kind of assumed she wasn't going anywhere. Reality was vastly different, and he was just going to have to deal with it.
That said, his feelings of non-guilt hadn't diminished overnight; in fact, if anything, he was even gladder he'd lied to Foster. He might have lost his chance with Jess – if he'd ever had one – but that was no reason for him to make things easy for the guy. What kind of friend would he be if he didn't make sure that any of Jess' potential suitors were good enough for her, right? Right.
Becker was putting his gear back in his locker at the end of the day when Jess appeared next to him. Seriously. One second he was alone, the next she was there, right next to him. He would never know how she moved so silently in those heels.
Becker tried not to look as surprised to see her as he felt. "Hey," he returned. "You alright?"
Jess smiled. "Um-hmm," she said. She held up a box. "Chocolate?" She said sweetly.
Becker looked at the box – it was a Terry's Chocolate Orange gift box. He managed to hide the smirk, but only just.
"That's orange chocolate," he said, raising an eyebrow at her. "You don't like orange chocolate."
Jess kept smiling. "I know," she said. "Mark gave them to me, and he wasn't to know, was he?"
Becker did smirk then, but managed to hide it by turning it into a regular smile. "It's the thought that counts," he said. He took one of the chocolate segments and put in his mouth whole.
"He asked me out," Jess said.
Becker had already guessed as much, but it was still... not nice, shall we say, to hear.
"Oh?" He said thickly through his mouthful of chocolate. "What did you say?"
Jess didn't answer straight away. Instead she closed the lid of the chocolate box and reached past him to put it on the bottom shelf of his locker. "You can finish them, since you like them so much," she said. She gave him a piercing look. "Why did you tell Mark my favourite chocolate was orange?"
Jess raised an eyebrow at him. "He told me he couldn't take credit for knowing my favourite chocolates; that you told him what ones to get," she said.
He didn't even take credit for the chocolates? Jeez, was the man gunning for sainthood or something? Becker stared down into Jess' oddly intense expression, and tried to think of a way out of this. He swallowed down the chocolate and tried to look nonchalant.
"He must have misheard me," he said.
Jess nodded. "Ah," she said. Becker thought, for a second or so, that he'd gotten away with it, but a moment later Jess gave him a disbelieving look and folded her arms. "Becker."
Becker shifted uncomfortably. He really didn't like the way she was looking at him – she'd never seemed... disappointed in him before. "I..."
Jess raised an eyebrow, and Becker cracked.
"I didn't want him buying you chocolate!"
"Because that's our thing."
Oh. Dear. God. He had not just said that out loud, had he? Judging by Jess' wide eyes, he definitely had. Becker turned away quickly, staring at his locker like it was the most interesting thing in the world.
There was a couple of moments of silence before Jess spoke. "You're such an idiot," she said quietly.
Becker nodded. Yep, that sounded about right. He flicked open the box of chocolates that had led to his downfall and shoved another piece in his mouth before grabbing his jacket, slamming his locker door shut and turning to leave.
"I said no."
Becker froze and then slowly turned to face Jess, who was watching him with a wary look on her face. Once he was facing her again, she shrugged. "I told him I couldn't go out with him."
Becker swallowed again. "Why?" He asked.
Jess took a few steps towards him, so she was standing right in front of him again, and Becker stared down at her, holding his breath for her answer. Why would she turn down someone like Mark Foster? He was so perfect Becker had wanted to shoot him.
Jess hadn't answered – she was staring up at him still, and Becker noticed suddenly they were much closer together than before. It was like they were drifting towards one another. He let out the breath he was holding.
"Why, Jess?" He asked softly.
Jess bit her bottom lip – Becker stared as her teeth dragged over the flesh for a second before she drew in a shaky breath.
"Because you lied," she said.
Becker reached out and cupped the back of her head, pulling her towards him before he could talk himself out of it. Their lips met and Becker knew, now that he knew what it felt like to kiss Jess, that he'd never be able to talk himself out of it again. Jess' hands slid up to rest on and then grip his shoulders, and Becker dropped his jacket to the floor as he wound his other arm round her waist, pulling her closer.
By the time they pulled apart, Jess' arms were wrapped around Becker's neck and he had one hand tangled in her hair. Becker rested his forehead against Jess', his eyes only partially open as he struggled to get his breath back.
Jess grinned. "You taste like chocolate orange," she said.
Becker laughed, lifting his head to look at her properly. "Sorry," he said, not sorry at all.
Jess shrugged and tightened her arms, pulling him closer again. "I don't mind it on you."