Okay so this was the cliché story idea I mentioned in the last chapter of 'Distractions'... I kind of hate myself for writing it but I can't get it out of my head! This chapter's very much just setting it up, but prepare yourselves for barf-inducing fluffiness. *hates self*
Okay... well. Enjoy. *runs*
It was just an ordinary morning at the ARC – Jess was tying up loose ends from the anomaly alert a couple of days ago, and the rest of the field team were doing their thing too. Becker came to see Jess about a couple of reports, which really wasn't an unusual occurrence... Jess answered his questions before turning back to what she'd been doing.
Then it stopped being an ordinary morning at the ARC – for Jess, at least.
After a few moments Jess noticed that Becker was still standing next to her, and she looked up at him again. "Do you need something else?" She asked.
Becker leaned back against her desk and looked at her. "I... wanted to ask you something," he said. He looked away, at the wall.
Jess raised an eyebrow. "Oh?" She said. She waited for him to say something, but he was still staring at the wall. "Are you okay?" She asked after a few moments.
Becker's eyes snapped back to her. "Yeah," he said. "Sorry." He cleared his throat, looking incredibly uncomfortable all of a sudden. Jess' eyes widened – he actually looked kind of nervous.
"So..." he said, shifting a bit. "I am aware that this sounds like the beginning of a really bad romantic comedy..." Jess frowned in confusion – Becker looked at her properly and spoke very fast.
"But my sister's getting married next weekend, and I was wondering if you'd go with me to the wedding," he said. Jess started to smile, but Becker wasn't finished. "And pretend to be my girlfriend."
The smile was wiped off Jess' face. "What?"
Becker's look became very intense and he leant forward slightly, dropping his voice. "I can't go to this wedding alone," he said seriously. "I really, really can't."
Jess blinked. "I – why?"
Becker looked around, as if making sure no one was listening. Jess stared at him – she'd never seen him act like this before. When he'd started talking she'd actually got excited, she thought he was finally actually asking her out... kind of. But this sounded like something else. Something about this wedding was really bothering him.
He looked back at her, his eyes wide. When he spoke, his voice was hushed.
"I have four older sisters, and their favourite pastime is torturing me," he said. "The last family wedding, two years ago, they got me drunk, tied me to a railing, took pictures of me and sent them to every single girl in the hotel."
Jess gaped at him. "They what?" She wasn't sure she was hearing him correctly – Becker, Captain Becker, was getting this worked up over his sisters? She forgot about her disappointment that he wasn't asking her out properly and started to smile.
Becker's look intensified still further. "And not just the ones who were there for the wedding, the ones we knew – they sent it to every one."
Jess pursed her lips together, trying desperately not to laugh, and tried to think of something to say aside from the obvious... but it had to be said.
"Do you still have the pictures?"
Becker glared at her. "No." Jess did start to laugh then – she couldn't help herself. Becker looked away, glaring at the wall instead and folding his arms. "Needless to say I've avoided family wedding since then... but this one is my sister's, so I have to go."
He looked back at Jess, and she managed to stop laughing, but she was still grinning. She didn't usually tease people if she could help it, but come on. "So... I would be there to protect you from your sisters?" She asked with a smirk.
Becker actually pointed at her. "You don't know what they're like."
Jess started laughing again – Becker glared at her for a few moments before looking away again, but Jess saw that his lips were twitching, so she didn't feel too bad about the laughing.
Eventually she sobered up enough to think back to his original request, and she tried to be serious. "Well, why would I have to pretend to be your girlfriend?" She asked. "Couldn't we just go as friends?"
Becker sighed. "I did think of that, but if we did that my sisters would spend the entire weekend trying to get us together," he said.
Jess was torn between thinking that would be great and thinking that would be horrifically embarrassing. The embarrassing won, and she nodded. "Ah."
Becker shifted uncomfortably again, and shrugged. "Look I know this is really weird, you don't have to do it if –"
"Are you kidding me?" Jess said with a grin. "I have to see this."
Becker shook his head, but he was smiling this time. "Yeah... this is going to be a very embarrassing weekend for me," he said ruefully.
Jess shrugged. "I can't..."
Becker looked at her. "What?"
Jess smiled. "I just find it hard to imagine you with... big sisters," she said. "As the baby of the family."
Becker rolled his eyes. "Well I am the baby of the family," he told her. "My youngest sister, the one who's getting married, is eight years older than me."
Jess' eyes widened. "Wow," she said. Becker shrugged.
Jess cleared her throat. "So where's the wedding? And... when?"
"It's at a hotel in Kent," Becker said. "And it's next Saturday."
Jess nodded. "So that's why you have next Friday off," she said musingly.
Becker frowned. "How do you know I have next Friday off?"
Jess gave him a sardonic look. "I know everything," she said.
"Of course," Becker said with a chuckle. They smiled at each other briefly, before Becker cleared his throat again. "I was planning on driving down on the Thursday evening, coming back Sunday afternoon. I don't know if that's..."
"That's fine," Jess said. "I haven't had a day off since I started here, so that won't be a problem."
Becker looked at her seriously for a moment, and Jess' smile faded a little under his scrutiny. Then he stood up straight. "Thanks Jess, you really are saving my life," he said. "I know that seems dramatic, but you'll understand after you've met them."
Jess grinned. "Can't wait."
To be continued...