Well this is my very first multi-chapter Primeval story – should be eight chapters long. Anyone who's followed me in other fandoms will tell you I'm notorious at updating WIPs, but I can assure you my obsession with this show and this pairing will mean this gets updated very quickly.
I don't who's been on the official Primeval site, but according to it Jess is supposed to be 19 years old. Now, I'll buy that, but I do think it needs a backstory which the show has failed to provide, so my personal canon is she was a girl-genius who went to university when she was 14. Just FYI. In case you were wondering, according to the site Becker is 26 (and Connor is 27 – WTF?).
I hope you enjoy the story!
Jess was in the locker room putting something away when Becker walked in that morning. He smiled to himself and snuck up next to her. He reached round her and tapped her on the shoulder farthest from him – she looked around to see nothing behind her. She was letting out an exasperated sound even before she started turning the other way.
Becker smirked. "Morning."
"One day I'm not going to fall for it," she said.
Becker grinned. "I'll believe it when I see it," he said.
Jess grinned back and closed her locker. She turned to face him properly and raised an eyebrow. "Get caught in the rain?" She asked, noticing that he was wearing a mac and that it was soaked.
"It was just a shower," he said, unzipping it.
Jess nodded. "Do you have a busy day today?" She asked.
"I hope not," said Becker ruefully. "You?"
"Not really – there are some server glitches that need seeing to, but they shouldn't take too long," Jess said.
Becker shucked off his wet jacket and balled it up. He didn't want to put it in his locker with his dry clothes, so he reached over Jess to put it on top of the lockers... which brought him, all of a sudden, a lot closer to her. For a second all her could see were her eyes, wide and slightly startled. He heard her take a breath. His hand dropped the jacket on top of the lockers, but he didn't step back. He didn't even consider it. All he could concentrate on were the colour of her eyes – he'd never noticed there were so many shades of blue...
A noise in the hallway outside brought Becker to his senses and he quickly stepped back, turning to his locker and pretending nothing had happened. It had only been a couple of seconds – maybe Jess hadn't noticed anything.
"I'd better go get started," Jess said after a moment.
Becker judged that it was safe to look at her and give her a swift smile. "See you later."
Jess smiled back and hurried away, and as soon as she was out of the room Becker sighed and rested his forehead against the edge of his locker. Things like that were happening far too often for his liking. He needed to get a grip.
Jess walked quickly to the main control room, barely looking where she was going as she hurried through the corridors of the ARC. What had just happened? No, what had just almost happened? Becker had been standing there, so close, just staring at her, and if they hadn't heard that noise...
The thing was, Jess knew she wasn't the most subtle person in the world. She knew that Becker knew she liked him. He knew she knew. And everyone else knew. It was hardly a secret, and really, Jess didn't mind. But... recently, it had started to feel like maybe, well, like maybe he liked her too. Which was great – amazing – unbelievable – but something she'd never prepared herself for. What on earth would someone like Captain Becker, an experienced soldier and possibly the best-looking guy she'd ever met, see in a silly, inexperienced teenager like herself. Usually the fact that Jess was so young didn't bother her; being younger than everyone around her was something she'd had to get used to since she'd gone to university when she was fourteen. But when she was around Becker, she felt even younger than she actually was.
So, if he did actually by some miracle like her, what should she do about it? Should she wait for him to make a move? She knew enough about Becker to know she'd have to wait an age. Should she make a move herself? The very thought filled her with fear. Flirting was one thing – actually trying to take things to a new level was something completely different. Maybe she should try the opposite – act a bit more aloof around him while she tried to figure it out.
Jess reached her beloved ADD without incident and sank gratefully into her seat. She felt so much more in control of herself when she was sitting in front of the super computer. It was something she could understand and direct, which was exactly what she needed right then. She started looking at those server glitches that she'd told Becker about, and was quickly immersed in her work.
It was about an hour later that an anomaly alert rang out. Jess quickly went into Field Co-ordinator mode, pulling up information screens and sending co-ordinates as the team ran into the room.
"Jess, what we got?" Matt asked, jogging over.
"Anomaly, looks quite unstable," Jess reported. "Five miles west of here – Potters' Power Station."
"Well at least there shouldn't be too many people around," Matt said. "Let's go."
He and the others started to file out – Jess looked up and saw that Becker was still standing by her desk. He shrugged. "So much for a quiet day," he said.
Jess nodded. "Be careful," she said seriously.
Becker smiled and gave her a mock salute. "Yes Ma'am," he said, before hurrying after the others.
Jess turned back to the ADD with a smile, and shook her head. How was she supposed to act aloof around him when he did adorable things like that?
It didn't take the team long to reach the power station, and as Matt had said, there weren't any people around, as the entire thing was run on automated systems, which was one less thing to worry about. The anomaly was unstable; they tried to lock it but couldn't get the machine to work properly, even when Connor tried some recalibrations. Connor's theory was that the massive power output around them was affecting the anomaly and the device to close it.
Luckily, the anomaly disappeared after about an hour. Unluckily, a creature had already got through, and that was only the start of their problems.
It was massive, like a mutant wolf. Abby had said something about it being an ancestor of the modern wolf, but all Jess knew was that the thing was so fast it she could barely track it on the CCTV cameras.
The team split up to try and track it down, and Jess did her best to help them, but whenever she caught a glimpse of the creature it was just that – a glimpse. It was like a blur moving across her screens, and she couldn't give the team any useful intel of where it was. And then, to make things even more fun, the electrical output of the station started to affect their radios. They couldn't hear each other, they couldn't hear her – it was a disaster.
Jess dispatched a containment unit, with walkie-talkies, to the power station, and watched with her heart in her throat as the team stalked through the corridors, cut off from each other. She couldn't help but watch Becker a little more than the others, even though he was probably the safest of all of them.
Jess had an idea and started to hack further into the power station's systems, trying to patch in to the building's tannoy system. At least then she'd be able to talk to the team.
Before she had managed it, though, Jess saw something that made her freeze with dread. Connor had moved into the main control room of the station, on the first floor, and a moment later Jess saw the creature follow him inside. The creature was between Connor and the door, and it was clearly stalking Connor.
Jess made a strangled sound in her throat and typed faster than before, desperately breaking through firewall after firewall. Connor, meanwhile, had noticed the creature. He spun around on the spot and shot it with his EMD. The creature stumbled backwards, shook itself, and started forward again. Connor shot it again. And again. The EMD didn't seem to be having much of an effect on the creature, and Connor was just backing himself into a corner, trying to put distance between himself and the advancing creature.
Finally, finally, the last firewall fell and Jess had access to the tannoy system. "Guy's it's Jess –" the other three all paused, looking up, so Jess knew they could hear her, "Connor's in the main control room with the creature. HURRY! His EMD isn't working properly."
They'd all started running before she'd finished speaking, and Matt and Becker – who were on the right floor, were at the door of the control room within ten seconds. Jess watched as the two of them and Connor all shot the creature with their EMDS at the same time – a moment later Abby arrived and joined in; under the combined fire power of the four EMDs the creature eventually passed out. Jess breathed out a sigh of relief and sank back in her chair.
After a moment, she pressed a few buttons and called Matt's mobile phone. He picked up after one ring.
"Jess – we need a unit here; looks like this one's coming back with us," he said.
"Already on the way," Jess said.
"Connor thinks the interference is affecting the EMDs too," he said.
"Tell her thanks," Jess heard Connor say – she could see on the CCTV that he had walked round the creature to stand next to Matt, trying to speak into the phone. "She's getting a huge bunch of flowers."
Jess laughed. "Tell Connor I'd be happy with him putting down the toilet seat for once," she said. "Containment team will be right there."
"Okay, thanks," Matt said, shutting off his phone.
Jess smiled as the call ended, but her smile faded as she looked at Becker. He was looking up directly at the security camera, so it was as though he was looking straight at her. And the look he was giving her – well, it was intense, and unreadable, and made Jess' heart beat faster.
Becker stayed behind at the power station with the containment team to oversee the transportation of the creature; it was twitching, obviously not in a hugely deep sleep. It was one of the many reasons Becker disliked using EMDs – even when the creatures were down, it seemed like they were about to get right back up. And then of course there were times – like today – when the EMDs just didn't work.
Becker was furious with himself over what had happened today. He'd allowed himself to become complacent, too dependant on what the EMDs could do, and none of the team had had a gun with them that could work. Connor had almost been killed today because his EMD alone hadn't been enough to take the creature out. If Jess hadn't managed to hack into the tannoy, he would have... Becker didn't even want to think about it.
Becker drove back ahead of the containment team and headed straight to the locker room to divest himself of his gear. That done, he started to walk towards the control room to check in with Lester and to talk to Jess, but – speak of the devil – he spotted Jess coming out of one of the labs. He jogged over to catch her up.
"Hey," he said, falling into step beside her.
She looked a bit surprised to see him there so suddenly, but smiled. "Hi," she said. "Are you okay?"
Becker stopped walking and nodded. "Yeah – thanks to you."
Jess had stopped too, and just gave him a sheepish look. One of the botanists was trying to get past them in the corridor so Becker took hold of Jess' elbow and pulled her into the shadow of one of the doorways.
"You saved Connor's life," he told her seriously.
Jess blushed – actually blushed. "No – you, Matt and Abby did that," she said.
"Seriously, Jess," Becker said. He hadn't let go of her arm, and he squeezed it gently. "You did good today."
"Thanks," Jess said. Then she smiled – a huge, genuine smile that Becker couldn't help but return. They both stopped smiling after a moment but Becker, once again, found he couldn't quite find it in him to step away. He was staring at her again, and he knew he shouldn't be, knew he needed to back away from her, right now, before he...
Without knowing who had moved first, they were kissing. It was soft, and sweet, and it made Becker's head swim. His hand tightened on her arm and his other came to rest on her hip as he stepped closer to her – Jess' hands landed on his shoulders, and the kiss became firmer, more searching. Becker felt Jess sigh a little and her hand moved to cup the back of his neck. He was so close to losing himself in this completely, so close... but...
But there was a but. A big one. What was he doing?
Becker jerked back and grabbed hold of Jess' hands in his own. "Wait... Jess – I can't do this," he said.
Jess stared at him, wide-eyed for a moment, before snapping out of it and nodding. "No. Of course," she said. She pulled her hands from his and took a step back. "I know – I – sorry –"
Becker took a deep breath. "It's just –"
Jess nodded again, stumbling out of the doorway. "Of course, don't even –" she stammered, not even looking at him. "I'll see you later."
Becker took a step after her. "Jess!"
She didn't look back as she fled down the corridor, but Becker had seen the look of complete mortification on her face before she'd turned away. He leant back against the wall and dropped his head back.
To be continued...