My last Jess/Becker, 'A Tank?', got a really wonderful feedback, a few people said I should write more Jess/Becker and, because I love them, I decided to do just that. This is a little different because it's from Jess's POV, rather than third person. It's my first attempt at Jess's POV so let me know what you think.
There will be two more chapters: The scene with the bomb from Jess's POV and a made up missing moment back at the ARC afterwards.
I hope you like it!
This was ridiculous.
You're being ridiculous, Jess.
Great, now you're talking to yourself, that's going to make you seem sane to him.
I shut my car door with my heels, carefully balancing the Chinese in both hands. I'd spotted Becker's car as soon as I entered the underground parking lot.
Honestly, he wasn't exactly very subtle in that great big ARC vehicle.
My heels clacked loudly on the concrete, echoing quietly in the large empty space as I crossed between two parked cars.
I paused, placing the Chinese food on the ground and kneeling down behind a Mini to unbuckle my bright shoes. Job done, I picked them up so that they hung from one hand and balanced the food as if I was hugging it. If anything, it kept me warm.
It was comforting.
This is such a dumb idea, I chastised myself again. He's going to think you're an idiot.
Maybe he'll just think it's sweet.
No, not sweet, Jess - think of a more appropriate colleague word! Thoughtful. Polite. Yes, polite.
I paused when I reached the end of the row of cars. Four bays away sat Becker in the black ARC vehicle, staring at something in front of him - probably a monitor of some sort, or fiddling with the radio. No, Becker wouldn't listen to the radio at a time like this. Monitor it was.
I took a deep breath.
Well, I was here now. I couldn't just go home with twice as much food than was strictly necessary, could I? Besides, it would be cold by the time I drove all the way home, and I'd even bought Prawn Crackers. Nobody bought a whole tub of Prawn Cracker's for themselves!
One step at a time, I approached the car.
For a trained soldier, he didn't even notice me approach.
I plastered a confident smile on my face and knocked on the window as carefully as possible.
He jumped anyway.
Well done, Jess - scare the poor man, why don't you?
It felt weird to speak out loud to nothing, considering he was still on the opposite side of the glass, so I simply mouthed an apology.
This was a stupid idea. He's going to think you're an idiot. Oh great, now he's rolling his eyes at me.
He looked cute when he was annoyed…
I watched as Becker rolled down the window. Despite his outward appearance of annoyance, he was a little bit curious. I could see it in his eyes.
"Thought you might be hungry. I hope you like Chinese?"
Oh god, what if he didn't? I'd look even worse.
I'd said it. Now he knew why I was here. I held my breath, secretly trying to judge his reaction by his face. I didn't know what he was going to say when he opened his mouth to reply.
He didn't even give a direct answer, still preoccupied with me, not the food I'd brought.
He called me by my full name. I secretly liked it when he called me that, not that I'd tell him.
"This is a stakeout," He stated flatly. There was still a small hint of amusement in his voice, as if he liked being the one who knew what he was doing and telling others the facts. Which he did.
"You still have to eat," I pointed out cheerfully. Now I was here, it didn't seem like such a bad idea. Except, I had no way to justify it. Yes, maybe he did have to eat, but why should I be the one to bring him the food? Oh no, I should have thought this through. "I was just on my way home and I thought I'd drop by."
I winced internally at my own lie. It was terrible. I even looked away - everyone knows that the biggest sign of a lie is to break eye contact!
Lie better, Jess! Oh god, why did I say that? That was a terrible idea.
Maybe he wouldn't notice. Maybe, to him, it seemed like a perfectly acceptable reason to bring Chinese to a stake out in the middle of the night…
As soon as I looked back at his face I knew he wasn't buying it. "Jessica, I know where you live. It's miles away."
I'd forgotten about that.
"Well, I like the scenic route," I smiled.
I'd lied once, I may as well try to stumble my way through the rest of this conversation.
Okay, so I wasn't just going to knock on the window and say: "Sorry, but I felt like an idiot for telling you to 'Keep warm' earlier so I thought I'd come and make a bigger fool out of myself. Oh, also, I have an insane crush on you." I don't think that would go down too well, do you?
Stop talking to yourself! You're here now.
Becker stared at me for a moment. I smiled back.
Don't say anything, Jess, I warned myself. You'll just make it worse.
Suddenly, he grinned back. "Got any Prawn Crackers?"
I picked up the tub, luckily on the top of the bag, and simply showed him. His smile widened.
My shoes were thrown in the back of the car, discarded for the moment. Empty plastic tubs were piled on the back seat along with a handful of Prawn Crackers where Becker had been trying to teach me to aim through the loop of the backseat headrests. I'd failed pretty much every time.
He was laughing at me.
"It's harder than it looks!" I defended.
His answer was to throw the half of the Prawn Cracker in his hands, hitting the target perfectly, the Cracker landing in the boot. I gave him a mock glare.
"It takes training," He told me, half-boastfully, half-consolingly.
"Oh, so that's what soldiers do for training, is it?" I teased. "Shoot Chinese food at targets?"
He smirked. "Unfortunately, Jessica, that's top secret information. I can't confirm or deny it."
I laughed at his response.
We lapsed into silence for a moment.
Tucking my feet underneath my body as I sat up in the passenger seat, leaning through the gap in between our seats to reach my shoes. I reached around and found one but couldn't get the other.
"I think I've lost my other shoe…" I creased my eyebrows in concentration, feeling the floor again. From the way I was leaning I was still looking at Becker, my face much closer to his seat. He was smiling.
He had turned to study the monitor in front of him, pressing a few buttons to bring up different screens. After a moment he was satisfied because he turned back to me.
He was surprised to find me so close and looking directly at him.
"Jessica!" He jolted in surprise, then sighed in mock annoyance.
I smiled as I found my other shoe, leaning back into my own seat. "Sorry, but as a soldier, you are rather jumpy today."
"I'm just… on edge."
"Waiting for Ethan to show up?" I asked carefully, putting my shoes on.
He nodded. "This is definitely the place, but he hasn't been back at all since we arrived earlier. I'm just worried he might not turn up at all, and we've lost him again…"
"You couldn't have lost him," I blurted out optimistically before I could stop myself. "You're too good for that."
I mentally rolled my eyes at myself. Well done, Jess, that doesn't sound oddly trusting at all…
Just when he was beginning to think you were normal.
He surprised me by smiling, his lips creased in a way that meant he was trying not to laugh.
Oh god, he knew I was just blurting out my uncensored thoughts!
"I didn't mean to say that," I mumbled, embarrassed.
"Thank you, Jessica," The sincerity in his voice made me look up. Yes, he was laughing at me, but he was also serious.
I beamed back - I couldn't help it, his smile was just so infectious - and said happily, "You're welcome."
Okay, so the second half of this was just something I thought up. I don't know if you are going to like it - I hope you do! Let me know what you think of them and if there's anything a little off. I really tried to keep them in character. :) Chapter 2 should be up soon. Thank you for reading. I'd love any reviews?