Title: Whatever's Gonna Happen Tonight (1/2)
Pairing: Hilary Becker/Jessica Parker
Spoilers: Up to Series 4 finale.
Disclaimer: Just the words are my own.
Notes: pink_flame_87's piece for Write for Relief on LJ. I suppose this fits the third prompt. Thanks to jazzrose343 for the beta help with British English. :)
. . . . . . . . . .
"Can I go now?"
Becker sighed impatiently yet kept still as the penlight moved from his right eye to his left and back again.
"One moment, Captain," came a woman's voice from just beyond the light. Finally, the pen clicked off, and his eyes began to adjust, focusing on the face before him. He watched as the slim, dark-haired and brown-skinned woman slid a pair of thin-framed reading glasses on her nose as she looked down, scribbling something on the notes in her hand.
"Your pupil dilation looks good," she told him.
Looking up from the notes and meeting his eyes, she continued. "You've sustained a pretty big shock to your system, pardon the pun, as well as an MTBI. I was actually surprised to see you still here, especially after your last escape from the infirmary."
Becker rolled his eyes, a painful gesture when combined with the pounding headache he'd been experiencing since he regained consciousness. "I did not escape. It was just a scratch."
The doctor gave him a dry look. "Right. Well, I suppose your stubbornness manifests itself in your impressively high pain tolerance. I still can't figure out how you managed to walk out of here that day, painkillers or no."
"In any case, I recommend you stay here for a few more hours for observation. You'll need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home."
"Really, I don't need a babysitter. Can't you just prescribe me some paracetamol and be done with it." To make sure she wouldn't interpret his impatience to be directed at her he caught her eye and added, "Please."
Becker was slightly startled when the woman practically thrust her hand in front of his face. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
He squinted his eyes as he tried to focus on the raised digits before him, being mindful not to hesitate for too long before he answered. "Three." He saw her raise one eyebrow dubiously. "And a half," he mumbled. "Alright, I see your point. I'll take a taxi."
He watched her face as she pursed her lips, considering him. "Here's the deal. I'll let you go ifyou can get someone, maybe one of your ARC mates, to take you home and keep an eye on you for the night."
She maintained eye contact with him, letting him know in her stance and the set of her jaw that she wasn't budging until he agreed to her conditions.
"Fine," he acquiesced. He was absolutely not pouting.
"Lovely. I'll see you back here tomorrow for your follow-up."
Apparently, she decided to take his silence as agreement to the future appointment. "Great. Now, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that you can barely move right now and go and get some coffee. Let me know who you think of to call, and then I'll discharge you." With a humoring smile, Dr. Bhakta made her exit.
. . . . .
He thought of calling Matt. Just as quickly he ruled out the new team leader. Becker very seriously his job of protecting the team. Part of those duties included watching over Matt, and he did want to risk appearing weak. Sure, Matt had assured him that he trusted Becker with his life, but Becker still had his pride. He had not wanted to be on leave the when he had suffered a venomous bite from that creature (theracephalian—he would never forget), but he couldn't very well walk around, let alone track down and subdue some rogue creature. So he had been forced to accept the medical leave as it was.
Next, he tried to raise Connor on the comm system. When the young scientist didn't answer, Becker tried dialing his mobile. Still, there was no response. He guessed that the other man was probably holed up in a lab somewhere, elbows deep in anomaly research, trying to suss out what exactly had caused the unusual circumstances of that day's incursion.
Abby was out of the question. Though she, Connor, and him had all become close colleagues, friends even, it was just weird to ask your mate's girlfriend to stay the night with you.
That left only one person he could think of who would be both able and willing to take him home and possibly stay the night. As the realisation settled on him, a sinking feeling developed in the pit of his stomach, a symptom that he was fairly certain to be completely unrelated to the aftereffects of the EMD.
. . . . .
"It was quite lucky that Matt came along and made the changes he did."
"What do you mean?" Becker asked.
"With the guns, I mean. If Ethan—or Patrick—whatever, well, if he had been long enough to pick up how the guns really worked. Thank goodness it was on the lowest setting. My God, you took two blasts."
"Yes, Jessica, I was there." He tried to sit up in the bed, wincing as he did so. His arms still tingled and he could barely feel his hands. He was quite glad to be feeling anything at all. He certainly did not want to give Jess cause to be more worried about him than she already was.
"I'm fine," he told her.
"Dr. Bhakta mentioned something about you needing someone to see you home."
"Of course she did," Becker replied, shaking his head. Again, he forgot that moving, well, any part of his body, especially his head, stung like mad. Yeah, ok, he thought, maybe it wasn't such a bad idea.
Jess was still talking. "It wouldn't be any sort of imposition. I know where you live—"
Jess opened and closed her mouth, attempting to backpedal out of the conversation. "Well, I-I'm familiar with the general area. Not like I've ridden by your house or anything, because that would be...crazy, yeah." She blushed.
Becker watched her manicured hands as her fingers toyed with a bit of sheet that was bunched up on the side of his cot. "It's fine, Jess. I was going to ask if you were free to do it."
Her head shot up and she looked into his face, eyes wide. "Really?"
In that moment, she looked absolutely adorable and it was Becker who had to look away in order to keep his reaction to her neutral. "Yes," he stated. "Now, let's fetch Dr. Bhakta so we can be on our way."
. . . . .
Somewhere along the way Jess had picked up a small overnight bag, the strap slung over her shoulder, the weight of it on her hip. She stood patiently next time him as they waited for the lift that would take them to the car park.
She noticed his gaze and broke the silence between them. "What?"
He nodded at her bag. "Oh, I always keep a change of clothes stored here. Always good to be prepared and all that." She smiled brightly.
"Right. Good thinking."
The lift arrived and Becker waited for Jess to enter the car before he joined her inside. Out of habit, Becker checked his pockets for the keys to his car. He was slightly alarmed when he did not feel them in their usual place. He felt his other pockets.
"Looking for these?" He looked over at Jess to see her jangling a familiar set of keys before his face. She snapped them back into her palm when he attempted to reach for them. She tutted. "Dr. Bhakta was very firm about her order for you not to drive."
"You can't be serious." Becker was really at a loss.
"Sorry," she shrugged.
Under any other circumstances, Becker would be annoyed, but something about this young woman holding her ground made the situation almost amusing. Almost.
He relaxed for a moment, quickly took stock of the amount of sensation that had returned to his appendages, and then reached for the keys once more, hoping to surprise her. She did let out a shriek, but then quick moved the hand holding the keys behind her back as she leaned away from him. She switched the keys to her other hand and then brought it back around to her front. He reached for the keys once more but stopped short as he watched her deposit the entire key ring down the front of her shirt.
The lift came a stop, the doors opened, and the two of them stood still. Becker's mouth was open at pure shock from her actions. Then he realized that he had been staring helplessly at her cleavage for the past five seconds and immediately looked away.
"I can't believe I just did that."
Becker decided it was safe to spare a glance at her and he noticed a blush covering her cheeks.
"Well played, Miss Parker." He smiled genuinely as he nodded for her to lead the way.