My third story in a week – blimey. I really can't stop writing these two! This is a tag to the latest episode, so obviously there are spoilers within. I really liked this week's episode – especially Abby's caravan dash – but I did miss Becker. BUT the preview for next week looks COMPLETELY AWESOME. I'm going to squee about it at the end, so if you don't want to know what's in the preview, skip that bit!
Hope you like this little ficlet... maybe the next story I'll actually write from Jess' POV.
Becker was starting to hate the sight of his walls. He'd been sitting on the same sofa in the same room for over a week now, and soon he wasn't just going to be hating the walls, he was going to be climbing them.
He wasn't an idiot. He knew that the fastest way to heal was for him to rest up, but that didn't stop him being bored out of his skull. And it wasn't just boredom eating at him – it was worry. Every minute that he was on medical leave was a minute he wasn't doing his job; and he needed to be doing his job. Anomalies didn't happen every day – far from it – but when they did he had to be there. He couldn't stand the thought of his friends, the people he cared about, going into danger without him there to protect them.
He sighed and reached for his mobile, to check if there were any messages. He knew there wouldn't be, that he would have heard the phone beep if there were, but he had nothing else to do. The thing was that after several days of obsessively calling the ARC to make sure that nothing was happening, Jess had taken pity on him and started texting him updates. He opened up his messages from her and re-read some of them.
Nothing happening here, all quiet. Don't move your leg! J :)
Still nothing, still quiet. Still don't move your leg. J :)
Nothing happening here, except that Abby has a theory that Rex has somehow become the Alpha Male in the menagerie – even the mammoth obeys him. Apparently. Don't move your leg. J :)
Connor just managed to spill his coffee all over Lester's shirt. His white shirt. Probably more dangerous than any anomaly – will let you know if you're needed to rescue Connor. Don't move your leg. J :)
Stand down – Lester let Connor get away with the dry cleaning bill and a TBD favour. Connor's terrified. Don't move your leg. J :)
Nothing happening. Boring in fact. Don't move your leg. J :)
Becker smiled and put the phone back on the table. He'd had the occasional text from the other members of the team, but Jess' texts were the regular ones; she was the only one who seemed to realise how annoyed he was to be out of action. The last one had been sent that morning, probably just after she'd got to the ARC. He always heard from her again by the end of the day, but today he hadn't. Becker looked up at the clock – it was already almost six. Even if she was still working, she'd usually text him by now. No – she'd always text him by now.
He picked up the phone again and typed in a message.
Is everything okay? Still boring?
He sent it to Jess and sat back, waiting for her to reply. And waited. And waited some more.
Has there been an anomaly alert? What's happening?
He sent that too. Nothing.
Jess? I'm starting to get worried now.
Eventually, when it was close on eight and Becker had been doing his leg no favours by pacing around the room for half an hour, his phone started ringing. It was Jess.
Becker snatched up the phone. "Hello? Jess?"
"Hi. Sorry for not texting you – it's been a bit crazy today."
Becker relaxed and sagged down onto an armchair – Jess sounded a little harried but no more than usual, so nothing too bad could have happened.
"That's okay," he said. "So... was there an anomaly?"
"Yeah," Jess said. "Have you ever heard of the Wychfield Worm?"
"I'll take that as a no. It's a long story, but an anomaly has been opening in Wychfield, down on the coast, and there's been someone dumping acid which... has done something; I'm not sure how, but it means that the anomaly can't close, or stabilise... Connor can explain it better."
Becker didn't doubt that, but Connor would never think to call him and fill him in.
"Anyway, long story short – a creature's been living in the caves by the anomaly for years, and Connor and Abby spent the day tracking it. It went back through the anomaly."
"Are they okay?"
"Yes... well, Abby was kind of in a car crash, but she's fine."
"A car crash?"
"More of a caravan crash – the creature was on the roof of the caravan, and she drove it down to the caves... but it went for her as she was driving and so she crashed. She has a mild concussion and some cuts and bruises, but other than that..."
Becker tried not to think of what could have happened. "Was Connor with her?"
"No, he was in the caves. He faced down the creature and the two farmers who were dumping the acid – poor guy, you know, the creature ate Abby's tracker, so for a minute he thought Abby was dead."
Becker swallowed. "Where was Matt?" He asked. "Why wasn't he there?"
"Oh, he was there at first, but they got a lead on Emily and Ethan, so he went to find them."
"He did. He tracked them to a cemetery, and had a fight with Ethan - Ethan escaped. Matt rescued Emily from inside a tomb, she's okay."
Becker shook his head. "Is Matt okay?"
"He's fine – a few bruised ribs, apparently he had a bad fall."
Becker gritted his teeth. "That's it. I'm coming in tomorrow."
"Is your leg healed?"
"Yes, it's fine."
"You're such a bad liar. Even over the phone."
Becker glared at the wall. "I should have been there today. Abby and Matt shouldn't have been injured. Connor shouldn't have had to face down that creature alone."
Becker heard Jess sigh. "You know, they weren't together when those things happened," she said. "Even you can't be in three places at once."
"I should have been there," Becker repeated, ignoring her logic.
"Or someone else should have," he said before she could try more logic. "Why didn't they have any military back-up?"
There was a moment's silence. "I don't know," Jess conceded.
Becker shook his head. "Are the preliminary reports done?"
"I need to read them right away – can you email them to me?"
"You know I can't email documents that highly classified," Jess said.
Becker sighed. He did know – and if she did email them, Jess could lose her job. "Yeah – sorry," he said. "It's just... I don't think I'll back for another week, and if I have a look at those reports I might be able to put some procedures in place to stop people taking stupid risks without me there to protect them."
"A week?" Jess said. "You really think it will be that long?"
"Miss me?" Becker quipped before he could stop himself.
Jess laughed. "No, I'm just worried about exceeding my text limit for the month."
Becker grinned, his worry and guilt lifting slightly. "I'm sure that eventually you'll run out of ways to tell me not to move my leg," he said.
Jess laughed again, but before she could reply there was a knock on Becker's door. He frowned, staring at his front door like he'd never seen it before – the only people who ever visited his flat were take-away delivery people, and he hadn't ordered anything. Yet.
"Er, I'd better go – there's someone at my door," Becker told Jess.
"Okay, see you soon."
Becker hung up and limped across the room to the door. He turned the dead bolt and opened it. His eyebrows shot up.
It was Jess.
She was wearing a short black mac open over an even shorter grey print dress, a chunky pink necklace, and a smirk.
Becker stared at her. "Um... hi...?" He said after a minute.
"Hi," she said. She reached into the voluminous pink shoulder bag she was carrying and pulled out a couple of folders. Then, with an even wider smirk than before, she held them out to him. "Too highly confidential for email," she said coyly.
Becker stared at the files – the preliminary reports he'd asked for just a minute before – and then back at her. Her eyes were twinkling; she was definitely enjoying this. Becker shook his head, smiling, and took the files from her.
"Should I be worried that I'm too predictable?" He asked her.
Jess' smirk vanished, replaced by a wide-eyed innocent look that Becker didn't believe for a second. "You're not predictable," she said sweetly. The smirk appeared again and she swung her bag onto her shoulder with a flourish. "I'm just that good."
And with a final quirk of her eyebrow, she turned on one of her kitten heels and walked away.
Becker leant his shoulder against the doorjamb and watched her until she turned the corner – she didn't look back once. He grinned and went back inside, the files in his hand, and limped back over to the sofa.
He settled down and opened one of the reports to start to read, but after a minute he snatched up his mobile phone and sent a message to Jess.
You ARE good. :)
The reply was almost instantaneous.
Don't move your leg. J x
The preview... OMG. JENNY IS BACK. WOLVES ATTACKING THE WEDDING RECEPTION. FINDING OUT WHAT MATT'S UP TO.
AND BECKER AND JESS ON A MISSION TOGETHER. AND A BOMB. AND BECKER YELLING AT JESS TO GET OUT. AND JESS CLEARLY NOT LISTENING.
In case you can't tell, I can't wait!