Apologies to those waiting for me to update 'Distractions', but I was distracted (see what I did there?) by this story. It's been floating in my head for a while but I haven't had a chance to write it before today, and I really wanted to post it before tonight's episode airs. I don't imagine that anyone will actually read it before the episode starts, but at least it's up!
It's all speculation on my part so I don't imagine there's spoilers herein. There is, however, smut. You have been warned.
What a Day
It was already dark by the time Becker was ready to leave the ARC. He stood by the entrance to the building, looking out over the deserted car park. There were an unusually high number of cars there for the time of day, which said something about how crazy the day had been. Becker hesitated by the building, part of him wanting to go back inside, even though there was no more he could do. A big part of him just wanted to get as far away from everything as he possibly could.
Becker froze at the sound of the voice behind him, and closed his eyes for a moment.
"Are you okay?"
Becker actually let out a chuckle at that, giving Jess a disbelieving look as she appeared next to him.
She nodded. "Sorry, stupid question," she said quietly, looking down at the floor.
Becker immediately felt bad – none of what had happened today was Jess' fault. And adding 'jerk' to his list of failures to the day wasn't appealing.
"I'm okay," he said after a moment. Jess looked up at him again, scrutinising his face for signs he was lying, and Becker looked back calmly, taking in Jess' appearance. She looked awful. Her hair was down and all over the place, and her eye make-up was smudged from where she'd been crying. He felt the sudden urge to pull her into a hug, but he forced himself to stay where he was.
After a few moments, Jess sighed and looked away again. "You're going home?" She asked.
"Yeah," Becker said. "Probably."
Jess gave him another searching look. "You'll be back tomorrow, right?" She asked
Becker's eyes widened, genuinely surprised by the question. Then he remembered what he had done the last time one of the team... one of his friends... had died on his watch, so he couldn't really blame Jess for thinking he wouldn't be coming back.
He nodded, and Jess' shoulder's visibly relaxed. She nodded too. "Well... okay," she said. "I should... get back to Abby."
Becker winced, and Jess noticed. "Becker..."
"I'll see you tomorrow," he said quickly, starting to walk away.
"If you need to talk about..." Jess' voice trailed off and Becker stopped. He looked over his shoulder at her, studying her for a moment. She looked so pale in the moonlight. He nodded.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Jess," he said. Then he got into his car and drove away. He could see Jess watching him all the way out of the car park.
Jess watched Becker's car until it was gone, then turned back into the ARC with a sigh. It was late in the evening but the place was still buzzing with activity – today had been a major breach, and had had public consequences as well as private ones. It was going to take a lot of spinning to bring this story under control. Still, Jess was absurdly grateful that things weren't worse. They were bad enough – they were awful – but after what Matt had told them had happened in his time...
His time. It was crazy. Matt was from the future. He and his father – who had apparently worked for the ARC in his day – had travelled back in time so that Matt could infiltrate the ARC and prevent what had almost happened today from happening. It would have been catastrophic if he hadn't intervened.
Jess knew she should be shocked by Matt's revelation – and she was, in a way – but it also explained a lot. She'd never been able to get a proper read on the man and today, for the first time, she'd actually felt like she knew him. She didn't know what would happen to him now – he was being interrogated by Lester and five other officials right now. Becker had been avoiding him all day... though Jess thought that probably had to do with Danny.
She shook her head as she pushed her way through the medical wing doors. What a day.
Abby was exactly where Jess had left her ten minutes earlier, lying on her back and staring at the ceiling, one arm in plaster on top of the blankets, which were hiding the massive bite in her side.
Jess paused in the doorway to her room and gave her a small smile. "Hey."
"Hey," Abby said, not looking at her. "Did you find Becker?"
"Yeah," said Jess, walking over to the chair next to Abby's bed. She sat down and sighed. "I think he blames himself."
Abby snorted. "Becker blames himself if one of us stubs a toe," she said.
Jess winced. It was true, but she couldn't really make light of it the way Abby could. There was silence for a while until Abby turned her head to look at Jess.
"You should go home," she said.
Jess smiled. "I will – just... not yet," she said. She didn't want to say it out loud, but she just couldn't leave Abby like this. She said she was okay, but Jess knew her well enough to tell that she was hurting. Badly. She wasn't going anywhere until Abby was asleep.
Jess swallowed. "I'm sure Connor will-" she started to say, but Abby cut her off with a glare.
"Don't," she said sternly. "I – I know you're just trying to help, Jess, but I don't want to talk about him." She looked back up at the ceiling. "You saw – he made his choice. Everybody saw."
Jess bit her lip for a moment before taking another plunge. "He loves you so much – he's just confused, he –"
Jess held up her hands in surrender and slumped back in her seat. She stared miserably at the ground for a few minutes, until a sniffing sound made her look up again.
Abby was crying.
"Abby – oh, Abby," Jess said, sitting forward and reaching out to grasp her friend's hand.
Abby shook her head, screwing her eyes up tight.
"Abby, it's okay..." Jess said.
"No, no it's not okay," Abby choked out, giving Jess a stricken look. "He doesn't deserve it! Why should I be crying over... over..." Abby's voice trailed off and she started to sob.
Jess let go of her hand and leant forward from her chair, stroking Abby's hair and resting her cheek on her forehead. She held back her own tears as Abby held onto her with her one good hand and cried her heart out.
Eventually, what felt like hours later to Jess, Abby had cried herself out, and her even breathing told her she was asleep. Jess sat back, being careful not to wake her. She looked down at Abby's face – her eyes were red and there were tear track marks down her cheeks, and even in sleep there was a small frown line between her eyes. Jess sat watching her for a little while, until she was sure she wasn't going to wake up, and then got up and left the room.
She made it as far as the ladies' toilets down the corridor before she broke down herself. She practically fell through the door, and just slid down the wall until she was sitting on the cold floor. She pulled her knees up to her chest, put her head down and cried.
She cried for her friends. She cried for a friend she'd lost before making, for one that seemed to turn his back on them all. She cried for Abby's heartbreak, and Becker's guilt, and she cried because she'd never felt so helpless in all her life.
Becker was driving. It was two hours since he'd left the ARC, but instead of going home he had just picked a road and driven. He was on the motorway now, heading north, and though he knew that he should turn around soon, he just couldn't face it right now. So he kept driving. The temptation to keep going was so strong, and really – what was stopping him?
You'll be back tomorrow, right?
Becker shook his head. Damn Jess. Damn her big weepy eyes looking at him and making him feel... well, just feel. He should be allowed to keep driving and never go back. He shouldn't be worried about what she'd think, about how hurt she'd be...
Becker pulled over onto the hard shoulder. He cut the engine and turned on the hazard lights before letting his head fall down on the steering wheel, letting out an exasperated sigh.
He didn't want to go back. No – that wasn't true, was it? He did want to, he had to go back; he couldn't let the team continue on without him... what was left of the team anyway. How had everything gone so unbelievably wrong in just one day?
Abby had almost been killed. Connor had quit the team, gone off to work for Burton, ignoring the warnings Danny had brought back through the anomaly with him. Danny... Becker winced, once again reliving the moment when he had leapt in front of Ethan at the moment Matt fired a fatal shot. Ethan... real name Patrick Quinn. He'd escaped through an anomaly, dragging Emily with him. And it turned out Matt had been lying to them all this time.
The team had returned to the ARC in complete disarray; shocked, injured and incomplete. And then Jess had been there, and for a sick moment Becker had actually been grateful Abby was injured, because it meant she didn't turn her attention to him. She had a way of seeing through him, and she was stubborn as hell – wallowing in any kind of self-pity was something she just did not allow, and that was what he felt like right now. He'd managed to escape the ARC with only a fleeting conversation.
But even sitting by himself in his car on the side of a motorway in the middle of nowhere, he couldn't get her voice out of his head. He knew exactly what she would say to him, how she would try to make him feel better. And for the first time, Becker realised that he actually wanted that – he wanted to feel better. For so long now guilt had been Becker's way of dealing with the world; in a weird way it was his lifeline. It didn't make for much of a life, but it had worked for him. Up until now. Now, he found himself wanting more. He found himself wanting to take the absolution and the understanding that Jess offered him on a daily basis – and that just fed his guilt.
You'll be back tomorrow, right?
What if he didn't? What would Jess do? She would just move on, right? The thought was like a dull ache in Becker's stomach. Would he move on?
Becker swore under his breath and turned the car back on, pulling back out into the traffic. Five minutes later, when he reached the next junction, he turned around.
Jess rolled onto her side, staring at the illuminated display on her alarm clock. 02:24. She sighed and rolled onto her back. She'd been lying in bed for hours now, but she was wide awake. Her mind was racing through the events of the day.
She couldn't believe so much had happened, that so much had changed so quickly. It had really shaken her to see Abby cry like that. And the way Connor had left... it was so horrible. Matt had looked so deflated, so empty, and she knew that losing Emily like that had hit him hard. And Becker... she could see how badly it had all affected him. She wished that, just for once, he'd actually wanted to talk about it, but she wasn't surprised that he hadn't.
He was just so frustrating sometimes – it was like he actually liked wallowing in self-pity. Why had she gone and fallen for someone so self destructive? Jess rolled over onto her stomach and buried her face in her pillow, growling in frustration. She needed to stop thinking about Becker, it wasn't helping.
It also wasn't helping that the flat was so quiet. She'd gotten used to sharing her flat with two other people, and the silence now was completely disconcerting. She hated the idea of going back to being alone.
The clock had just ticked over to 02:29 when a knock on Jess' front door made her jump out of her skin. She sat up straight, wondering for a wild moment if she'd just imagined it. Then it came again, louder than before. Jess frowned and threw her duvet aside. She swung her legs off the bed as there was another knock, followed by another. Jess grabbed her robe and put in on over the vest top and shorts she was wearing, tying it as she hurried out of her room and to her front door. She peered through the peephole, and gasped when she saw Becker on the other side.
Jess stood frozen for a moment, completely shocked at the thought of Becker at her front door at two-thirty in the morning, but she quickly snapped out of it and threw back the locks on the door to let him in.
They stared at each other for a moment before Jess stood aside and beckoned for him to come in. He stepped through the door, and Jess closed it behind him. She turned back to him, waiting for him to say something. He just stood there looking at her, and eventually Jess couldn't take it anymore. She launched herself at him, throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.
"I am so glad you're here," she said, her voice muffled by his shoulder. "The flat is so quiet and I can't stop thinking about everything that happened and I hate what's going on..." She shook her head and tightened her hold on him as Becker wrapped his arms around her and hugged her back. Neither of them moved or said anything for several minutes, they just stood there with their arms around each other.
Eventually, Jess pulled away and gave him a shaky smile. "So, er, do you want a drink or something?" She asked, starting to move into the kitchenette.
Becker reached out and grabbed her hand, stopping her. "No, Jess – I..." His voice trailed off as she turned back to him. He didn't let go of her hand.
"I came here because I need to tell you something," he said after a moment.
Jess swallowed. He actually was leaving. She knew today had affected him badly – he was leaving the ARC. The team. Her. Oh god, would she ever even see him again?
Some of her panic must have shown on her face, because he placed his free hand on her shoulder. "It's not... that is, I realised something, and I just wanted to tell you," he said.
Jess took a deep breath and nodded. Okay, so maybe he wasn't leaving. Whatever it was still sounded a bit ominous, though.
"I was driving, and I just... I've been feeling so guilty, and I..." Becker frowned, like he didn't know what to say. It was odd to see him so tongue-tied, but Jess didn't say anything while he tried to figure it out.
Becker closed his eyes for a second and then gave Jess a serious look. His hand slid up her neck to cup her cheek – Jess shivered at the touch, and then blushed, hoping that he hadn't noticed. He moved a little closer to her, staring at her intently. "I want you to know, that..." his voice trailed off again. Then he let out an exasperated sound, bent his head and kissed her.
Jess gasped a little but quickly melted into the kiss. She didn't know what had happened to Becker to do this to him but within seconds she found she didn't care, she could concentrate on nothing but the feel of him kissing her. She'd imagined it so many times, but nothing could have ever come close to the reality.
Jess let go of Becker's hand and wrapped both her arms around his neck – his arms went round her waist, pulling her close as the kiss changed from soft and sweet to firm and demanding. Becker's tongue pushed into her mouth and she moaned in the back of her throat, rubbing herself against his body... she'd gone from happy to see him to desperate for him in a matter of minutes, but she couldn't feel embarrassed about it – she could feel the affect their kiss was having on him too.
Becker's hands were suddenly in between them, pulling apart her robe, and Jess felt her back hit the wall. Becker pressed her up against it and Jess moaned her approval, raking her nails through Becker's hair and dragging her leg up the outside of his. He pressed further, pushing his leg in between hers and rubbing himself against her hip – they both cried out at the contact, and started to grab at each other's clothes. Becker broke their kiss and latched onto the side of her neck as Jess managed to push his jacket off his shoulders. His hands travelled down to her waist and under her vest top, leaving a trail of fire on her skin.
"Bed," she managed to gasp just as his hand skimmed the underside of her breast. Becker lifted his head and kissed her again, backing away from the wall. Jess followed him, guiding him through her bedroom door and across the room. His legs hit the bed suddenly and he fell back, sitting down with a thump. Jess immediately followed, lowering herself onto his lap and straddling him, kissing him and pressing herself as close as possible.
Becker reached down and practically ripped her top off over her head, giving him access to her breasts. Jess cried out as his mouth descended on her, her arms wrapped tight around his neck, and ground down onto him, making him groan loudly. She reached down between them and started to fumble with his belt buckle.
Things got hazy after that – Becker lay back and flipped them over so he was lying over her, and somehow all their clothes disappeared. When he finally pushed into her, Jess cried out his name, her nails digging into the skin of his back. They moved together, bringing each other to the brink, and found their release together, crying out and clinging to each other as they let go.
Afterwards, Becker lay next to Jess on her bed, staring up at the ceiling and still trying to get his breath back. He wasn't quite sure how what had just happened had happened, but he found he didn't regret it. It was surprising, actually – he'd always imagined that if he ever found the courage to take this step with Jess, he'd regret it afterwards. But that had felt so right.
He should probably be feeling bad about the timing of it, but he was pretty sure that the timing was what had sent them over the edge – after today, they had both needed this.
A couple of minutes later, he felt Jess shift next to him, and he turned his head to look at her. He met her eye – he had never seen her look more wary. He reached down between them and found her hand, and gave her a smile, which she returned. She beamed at him, all wariness gone.
"I wasn't expecting that," she said.
Becker grinned. "Neither was I," he said. He turned more towards her, and looked at her seriously. "I swear to god I didn't come with the intention of..."
Jess raised an eyebrow at him. "A booty call?"
Becker gaped at her. "Jess!"
Jess laughed and turned on her side so she was leaning over him a bit. "It's okay, I didn't think that," she said, smiling at him. She put her hand on his chest. "You said you realised something... what were you going to say?"
Becker gave her a sheepish look. "That I like you," he admitted.
Jess stared at him. "You like me?" She repeated. "That's what you realised?"
"It's a bit more complicated than that, but basically yes," Becker said.
Jess stared at him for a couple of seconds before starting to laugh. "Okay, message received," she said.
Becker started to laugh as well and pulled her closer, hugging her to his chest. She tucked her head under his chin and he felt her smile against his neck as he wrapped his arms around her.
"I really am so glad you're here," Jess said after a minute.
Becker closed his eyes for a moment before nodding. "Me too," he said. "Today was..."
His voice trailed off and Jess lifted her head to look at him. "We don't have to talk about it," she said.
Becker frowned. "We don't?"
She shook her head. "Not right now."
Becker leant up and kissed her softly before pulling her back down with him. She reached down and pulled her duvet over them both, and they were asleep within minutes.
So I imagine that none of this even remotely happened in tonight's episode, which starts in... ooh, 25 minutes! But I wanted to get it out there anyway. I hope you guys liked it :D