A/N: *gasp* My firstfic I've posted online! After watching Primeval I fell in love with the characters and simply could not resist taking them out for a spin. Reviews and critiques are very much appreciated!
Note: This story takes place sometime between 4.6 and 4.7.
Disclaimer: I own a West Highland Terrier; I do not own Primeval or any of its characters.
Chapter One: A Good Day
Jess loved quiet days at the ARC. They were much too few and far between for her taste as the anomalies seemed to be appearing more and more frequently as time passed. Even days at the ARC with no anomalies ran the risk of excitement in the form of creatures escaping from the menagerie or a seemingly benign plant suddenly turning carnivorous and taking a room full of scientists hostage. But as these rare days wore on without emergencies or crises, people usually became more relaxed. The ADD was a particularly fun place to be on those days as people would gather there to gossip and laugh and enjoy the few moments they were allowed to lower their guard.
Spinning idly in her chair, Jess allowed her mind to wander away from the report she had been proofreading for Lester. It had been four whole days without incident: no anomalies, no creatures, not even a lost ID bracelet to replace. She had spent the past few days like she spent most quiet days at the ARC: catching up on paperwork, tweaking some of Connor's older computer systems, running diagnostics on the ADD, and snooping through personnel files to see if anything had been updated. Unfortunately, after four days of this there was very little left for her to do but to amuse herself and try to pass the time until the next crisis presented itself. As bored as she might have been, she never found herself wishing for an anomaly to break up the monotony of her day. She knew exactly how dangerous they were and would never have wished danger upon her friends or innocent civilians for any reason.
The end of her shift was approaching and she was looking forward to leaving even more so than she usually did out of sheer boredom. Abby and Connor had ridden to work with her that morning and she was looking forward to their evening together: Wednesday nights together had become something of a tradition for them. They would take turns cooking and picking games or movies to watch together. Wrinkling her nose, Jess suddenly remembered that it was Abby's turn to cook dinner. Though Abby was a wonderful flat mate in nearly every respect and extremely gifted in a number of fields, Jess had to admit that cooking was not her strong point. Jess began contemplating the idea of convincing the pair to go out to dinner instead before returning to their flat for an evening of Scrabble- the one game she knew she could win as she had discovered that both Abby and Connor were terrible spellers.
Frowning down at herself, she once again mentally cursed Connor for forgetting to start the washing machine the night before. Due to his folly she had been resigned to wearing jeans and a brown cardigan rather than one of her trademark colorful skirts and sweaters. Though she felt she looked terribly drab in this particular outfit, Abby had assured her that she looked lovely as always. However, she had simply refused to compromise on her shoes and so she was sporting a pair of completely impractical teal stiletto heels that matched the ribbon in her hair. Still, she mused to herself, she was certainly dressed nicely enough for the new Thai restaurant that had opened on the other side of town. Perhaps she could even convince the rest of the team to join them. Goodness knows Matt needed to get out more often. He had been restless, annoying her all day about possible creature sightings and paperwork. The military types never seemed to enjoy the quiet days nearly as much as the civilians and she was sure that Becker had spent the last few days down in the armory sulking over the lack of action.
She signed dramatically to herself, letting her head fall back to land on the headrest with an audible thump. She had managed to go nearly two whole hours without thinking about him. Still, she was bored and there were only a few minutes left on her shift, and so she decided to indulge in a little wishful thinking.
She was head-over-heels in love with that man, whether he knew it or not.
When she first met him, she could sense his pain and uneasiness about returning to work at the ARC behind his strong military mask. Since that first meeting, it had become her life's goal to make him smile, perhaps even laugh again. It had not been love at first sight. She did not believe in such a thing outside of Disney movies and romance novels anyway. Admittedly, it had certainly been interest at first sight, maybe even infatuation at first sight. She had fallen in love with her handsome captain over time and the more she got to know him the more desperately she fell in love with him.
Not only was Becker absolutely gorgeous, but he was a gentleman as well. He had always treated her with the utmost respect in spite of her age. He brought her chocolate when she was feeling down or stressed, always careful that there was no orange in it. When he had discovered her walking alone to her car one night, he had scolded her profusely and had insisted on escorting her to her car on the days she did not carpool with Connor and Abby. So few men could be described as chivalrous anymore and he was a refreshing change from most of the men she had met in her life.
And then there was the way he handled himself out in the field. Becker was the consummate soldier: always leading his men bravely into every situation without regard for his own safety. He always put the safety of others before his own, something Jess found both admirable and worrisome. He lived for the action, but mostly, she suspected, he lived to protect the members of his team. And she had certainly not failed to notice how handsome he looked in his uniform.
He was gorgeous, a gentleman, and a superhero in Jess' eyes- she never stood a chance.
The idea that he would ever notice her in any romantic fashion was laughable at best. She was young, awkward, and inexperienced but she simply could not allow herself to give up on the hope that he might someday feel something more for her than professional concern. Over the months they had worked together, they had fallen into a comfortable banter peppered with flirtatious remarks and quips. At times she feared the flirting was mostly one–sided, but there had been moments between them that had given her hope.
They had shared such a moment together very recently at a stakeout when she had shown up unexpectedly to bring him dinner. Becker had walked into a trap set by a madman named Ethan and she had ended up disarming a bomb and saving both their lives. Though the experience had terrified her and she had even less interest than ever in working in the field, she had hoped that the experience would show Becker that she was not just a little girl who was clever with computers, but that she was capable of handling herself in real-life situations. The embrace they had shared after she had diffused the bomb had given her more hope than all their months of casual flirting combined, but unfortunately, the whole experience only seemed to have left him upset that she had ever been in danger and that she had disobeyed his orders to leave him. He had been quieter around her since then and had spent far less time than usual hanging around the ADD. She missed him terribly but did not know how to approach him again.
"It's quitting time, Jess!" Called a chipper voice from across the room, jarring her from her thoughts. "You ready to go?"
She spun around in her chair and smiled to see her two flat mates approaching, Connor bounding across the room with his usual enthusiasm and pulling Abby in tow. "Just finishing up. Two seconds and I'm ready to go!" She turned quickly back to the computer screen to send the corrected document back to Lester and log out. Standing up and stretching she beamed at the pair once again. "How does dinner out sound? I'm dying to try out that new Thai place we were talking about last night."
After his stint in the Cretaceous Era, food was never too far from Connor's mind, and he nearly always jumped at the chance to eat out (especially, Jess had noticed, when it was Abby's turn to cook). He nodded enthusiastically, sneaking a knowing wink at Jess before turning to Abby. "What do you say, Abs? Thai sound good?"
Abby smiled at his excitement. "Sounds good to me. I didn't fancy cooking tonight anyway."
Jess' smile grew even broader as she hopped down from the platform to stand between the two of them, looping an arm through each of theirs.
"You're in a good mood," Abby remarked.
"A very good mood," Connor observed with a sly grin. "Did a certain soldier boy bring you chocolate today or something?"
"Connor!" Abby admonished, though she too was smiling at Jess with a mischievous glint in her eye.
Jess ignored them and simply shrugged. "Any day my friends aren't in mortal peril in a good day for me."
"Fair enough," Connor conceded, his thoughts turning back to dinner. "Shall we?"
To Jess' disappointment, they did not run into Becker or Matt on their way out of the ARC and she did not dare suggest to Abby and Connor that they invite them, knowing they would only teaser her about her crush for the rest of the evening. Refusing to allow this minor misfortune to ruin her day, she reminded herself that there would be another time when things would work in her favor. Perhaps it was for the best until Becker worked through whatever was bothering him.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! I will try to update as soon as possible (unfortunately school has to take priority at the moment- stupid finals). Please review if you have a moment! I would love some feedback!