Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry with how long this took to update. I found Becker's POV in this scene, which I'd come up with to suit Jess, kinda difficult. It's my own fault really. Anywho, thank so so so so much for reading and reviewing this you guys! You're all wonderful people! I'll ramble some more at the end - for now, this is Becker's POV. :)
It was ridiculous.
I was fine - I had been trained extensively and for years to effectively handle high tension situations like the one we'd been in today. And I had been in them before, after all. Obviously never with somebody I cared about as much as I cared about Jess by my side, so perhaps I was a little more distracted than usual, but still… we had handled it together.
We had looked after each other, and we had come out of it completely fine.
Therefore, I could drive - I was perfectly capable of getting in my own vehicle and driving back to the ARC like I had done so many times before. Jess knew it, the soldiers knew it, I knew it.
Yet my men insisted on adhering to protocol.
Why did I have to discipline them, again?
I rolled my eyes as I fidgeted in the car. Jess caught my gaze as I looked across the seats at her: she smirked, evidently knowing exactly what I was thinking.
How did she do that?
She never ceased to amaze me.
As I half-glared back she mouthed "Stop sulking" amusedly.
I rolled my eyes at her again, mouthing "I'm not." in defence. Even as I did it I was aware that I sounded like a child.
She laughed aloud, shaking her head to show that she didn't believe me, but turned back to the window.
I watched her for a moment, transfixed - she was dusty, dishevelled and tired - understandable since she'd just diffused a bomb - but she was still cheerful, optimistic, fun. Still Jess.
She was stronger than she looked.
She had saved my life.
I couldn't help a smile form on my lips. For a moment, it stayed plastered there, becoming a grin, until I realised what I was doing.
I glanced wearily, and quickly, at the two soldiers in front of us, behind the wheel and in the passenger seat, just in case they noticed my reaction - the last thing I needed was for my men to have a reason to make fun of me.
Garrett, who was driving, smirked as his eyes flicked back to the road through the rear-view mirror. Johnson, thankfully, hadn't noticed.
To distract myself from everything, I took out the EMD from my holster and set about disassembling and reassembling the weapon.
It relaxed me a little.
Jess went straight to the hub, probably to sit at her computer and enjoy the familiarity and comfort it offered, as I hurried down to the armoury - my comfort.
I knew Lester would want a report as soon as possible - he'd radioed in over the Comms (even Jess was surprised he'd remembered how the system worked) to let Matt and I know he wanted to speak with us as soon as possible.
I knew Matt would be at least ten minutes, coming from home, so I decided to get the brief written and out of the way.
Seven minutes later I managed to print off a report, enlisting the help of some poor girl who I recognised as working near Jess sometimes on the smaller computers, and took the lift back up to the hub.
As the doors opened I heard Matt's voice mentioning my name, and then Jess' confused one followed with, "He went…"
"I'm right here," I interrupted them, swinging the report in my right hand as I made my way across the room, heading towards Lester's office. I glanced at Matt as I went, "Going to see Lester?"
"Yeah," Matt confirmed.
He joined me by the doorway, giving me a cursory glance, raising his eyebrows at my dishevelled look, and then we entered Lester's office.
"Don't you people ever knock?" The bureaucrat asked sarcastically.
"Sorry, sir, must have slipped my mind, what with all the bomb diffusing today..."
He raised his eyebrows at me. "I heard that was more of Jess' success than yours."
"She certainly did all the work," I agreed.
"And you have your report?"
"Right here," I indicated the file in my hand as I turned it over to him. To his credit, Lester tried to hide his surprise - I wasn't ever good with a desk job so deadlines weren't really my strong suit - I didn't blame him for being surprised.
Lester perused the file for a moment. Matt remained rigid, as if he had all the time in the world. After the events of the day, I was uncharacteristically fidgety again: it wasn't like me to be impatient, but I couldn't stay still with all the adrenaline that had run through my body earlier.
I could have died.
For a moment I'd even been convinced I was about to die.
Surprisingly, that didn't happen too often - I knew I could die, every day I knew it, but I never really thought about 'What if it was today?' I think the fear would slowly consume me if I did.
Jess had saved my life, and for that I was eternally grateful.
Would I ever get a chance to return the favour?
I hoped I didn't - I never wanted her to be in that position.
"Lester, Ethan is still out there," Matt brought me back to the office.
Lester looked up from the report, blinking and suddenly focussing his gaze on us. He hesitated, examining us, pausing in his 'Lester-like' way, before declaring sarcastically, "Well, what are you waiting for? That is your job, isn't it?"
Matt and I exchanged a disbelieving look as we turned and exited the room.
"We'll start fresh tomorrow morning. Get some sleep, Becker," Matt told me as we wondered over to the main control desk where the others were dawdling, catching the last part of their conversation.
"Connor…" Abby reprimanded her awkward boyfriend in an undertone. "Stop talking."
I went and stood beside the table by Jess, whilst Matt and Lester remained on top of the stairs.
"Jess," Lester addressed her as she crossed her legs and sat up straighter in her chair. "I just read Becker's report - you come off like a hero."
Thanks for declaring that to the world, Lester.
She blushed, looking everywhere but at me.
I had to stop myself from doing the same - fidgeting with my EMD did the job well. I boosted the charger and played with the safety catch until Abby spoke up.
"You two make quite a team," she teased.
I didn't think I could handle any more from her - Abby and Connor seemed to thrive in awkward situations. They loved them. Ever since they'd gotten back from the Cretaceous they enjoyed nothing more than to watch others squirm.
I rolled my eyes and retreated to the armoury.
I wanted to talk to Jess - see how she was, maybe force her to be checked over again by the ARC medic before she went home, and thank her.
I'd do it later, when the others left and weren't on the lookout for more things to tease us about.
I sighed as I entered the armoury.
I wasn't afraid of raptors, killer insects or future predators, but I did not talk about feelings. Not openly anyway.
Unfortunately, that's when I walked right into Garrett as he was returning his EMD to the charger bay.
"Everything okay, Captain?"
"Fine," I replied as I set about checking the EMD stores.
"How's Jess Parker?"
My hand hesitated for a split second over a gun, then I continued. "She says she's okay. I think she's still in shock though. I'm going to check on her later before I leave for the night."
"See you in two days then, Captain," He turned to leave.
"You're not on the rota for tomorrow, Sir," He spun back to tell me.
"I'm not?" I concentrated on the floor for a second. "Well, I think I'll come in anyway, just to make sure… you know, given the situation.. I have work to do with Matt..."
Garrett raised his eyebrows at me. "I'm sure we could handle it without you for a day, Captain. You need some rest. You deserve it after today."
"All the same, Garrett, I think I'd best come in," I stated, subtly but kindly reminding him of my authority.
Garrett got the message, nodding once and walking out the door. Just before he left I heard him mutter back, "I'm sure Jess will be glad to see you."
I started as he left and the two soldiers on the other side of the room grinned at my expression.
"Wha-" I thought it best to deny any rumours of Jess and I to them, but, to my surprise, I couldn't bring myself to say it. Besides, they weren't buying my half-hearted protests.
"Relax, Captain," They smirked. "We all know she's got a thing for you."
"And vice versa," another soldier finished.
No, ignore that. You don't have a 'thing' for Jess… you just… you're friends.
Oh, who are you kidding? Even the soldiers have noticed it.
For a moment I debated what to do: punish them for embarrassing me or let it go.
In the end I chose rationality - it was unfair to give them extra shifts and push ups simply because my ego was hurt.
I settled for glaring at them both. "Shouldn't you two be manning the gate?"
They hesitated, not expecting me to breeze right past the comment, then realised what I'd said and hurried off to work.
I sighed, standing in the middle of the empty, cold armoury for a moment.
I checked the clock - the others should have left by now, it was late, but Jess was most definitely still be sitting up by the ADD.
I decided to take the stairs - it wasn't far and the exercise would help me clear my head. Despite this, when I reached the corridor leading into the main control room I heard the unmistakable sound of Abby and Jess.
Abby was teasing Jess, that much I knew. I took the last few steps into the room carefully and slowly, prolonging their realisation of my arrival, just to try and make out what they were saying.
"I mean, I was… you know, the route was-"
"Jessica?" I interrupted, deciding her sentences were so incoherent I wasn't going to gauge any real understanding of the conversation from her. I may as well put her out of her misery.
They all jumped - Abby, Jess and Connor, who I hadn't seen - and turned to me with identical expressions on their faces. It was unnerving. Whatever they had been talking about definitely involved me.
I gave Abby and Connor suspicious looks, reserving a smile for Jess, who had obviously been the victim in this conversation.
"Y-Yes?" She responded.
"Never mind," I glanced at Abby's smile of fake innocence then back at Jess. I'd talk to her when the others were gone. "I'll tell you later."
"That's okay, we were just leaving. Weren't we, Connor?"
"Well, actually, I was just going to ask-"
"Now, Connor," Abby and him shared a look, one which obviously contained a hidden meaning, because he responded with a quick, "Right," and they left, whispering animatedly as they did so.
As soon as the coast was clear and Jess and I clustered round the ADD, I asked, "What was that about?"
"Oh, you know Abby and Connor…" She mumbled, averting her gaze.
I wasn't dumb - she didn't want to tell me. As curious as I was, if Jess wanted to keep it to herself, I'd respect that. Besides, Abby's mischievous eyes scared me - I didn't think I'd want to know.
Jess turned to the main computer and I to the laptop on the desk besides her, trying to log in. I say 'trying' because I had never got the hang of the ARC's computer system - I could surf the internet and stuff, but anything too technical just wouldn't stick in my mind. I didn't really need the laptop for anything either, I just wanted to stay a little longer. Hopefully work up the courage to show some feelings without my words coming out wrong and offending Jess.
I mentally scoffed at myself. You're a soldier yet you still have to 'work up' the courage to speak to a girl?
Suddenly Lester's muffled voice sounded through the glass division. "Well it was all under my guidance, of course," He boasted.
I glanced up at the door, then towards Jess with a disbelieving look. I rolled my eyes at his boast. Jess shook her head, smiling, good naturedly.
"After all the work he's done tonight he deserves a knighthood," She joked.
I smiled back. Exactly what I was thinking, Jessica.
When I turned back to the computer the screen read: 'Locked out. User/Password combination incorrect.'
I stabbed my index finger at the enter key in frustration. Ammunition was much less aggravating, at least it did exactly what you told it to do - followed a straight line. Computers, on the other hand, just seemed to have a mind of their own.
"Jess, this thing's locked me out," I turned to her, expecting the smirk I caught on her face. She didn't smirk too often - it wasn't really Jess-like - but when she did she still managed to look beautiful. "Can you fix it?"
She sighed, evidently loving being the one in charge, as she rolled her chair beside me and in front of the laptop. I leaned forward to get a better look at what she was doing, even though I knew I wouldn't understand it.
"Honestly Becker, you can face down raptors and diffuse bombs but you can't sign in to a computer?"
As she smiled at me, a teasing glint in her eyes, I felt my heart jolt. Instead of replying with words immediately, I gave her a mock-warning look of "Oh, you really want to go there?"
Her smile seemed to spread even further towards her eyes by the time I managed to speak coolly, "I'm not exactly into technology, Jessica. Unless it involves firepower."
She raised her hands in mock surrender, grinning widely, as she turned back to the computer and set to work helping me. I chuckled under my breath - she knew exactly how to gauge my mood.
It was silent for a few minutes. The sound of the second hand on the clock ticked loudly as I pretended to watch her work, when in fact I was just watching her.
She was so… serene. So calm.
I was right beside her - so close to her that I barely had to sound my next words; I swear she could have just heard them in my head if I thought them loudly enough.
"Thank you, Jessica," I managed to breathe out. She froze in surprise, tilting her head to look up at me. She was so close. "For saving my life today."
She blushed, even I felt like blushing, but we kept eye contact.
"You told me what to do, Becker," She whispered honestly. "You told me… I just did what you told me to do."
"Still," I had to interrupt her. She could play the 'You're the real hero' card on me, but she wasn't fooling either of us: it had been her who had saved our lives, saved the building, today. "You could have left- You should have left," I pretended to mock glare at her but we both knew I was half serious. After a moment I left my features become soft, as I only ever did around her. "But you didn't, you stayed and helped me… so thank you, Jessica."
I didn't think I knew anybody else, apart from the main field team, who would have done that for me.
She took a deep breath in at that. Not surprised I'd conveyed my gratefulness, but surprised I was being so… emotional. To be honest, I was surprised at myself.
"You're welcome," She grinned back happily, returning to her usual cheerful mood and turning back to the laptop. Tapping one last final key (rather dramatically) she declared, "There - all done."
She was so happy again. So Jess-like.
The thought manifested itself before I even had the time to squash it. It surprised me. I didn't even want to take it back. It was true, completely true.
Jessica Parker was more than absolutely brilliant.
Oh no, Becker. You're in trouble now.
I hadn't really fallen for anybody before, but I'd fallen for her. A woman quite a bit younger than me.
I felt a small smile tug at the corner of my lips as I realised something else, I didn't care. I didn't care if she was seven years younger than me, if it seemed like a lot because she hadn't long been classed an adult whilst I was twenty six.
I cared about her.
I blinked back to my surroundings as I realised I wasn't just picturing her face, I was seeing it right in front of me. A very self-conscious, confused face. "What…" She protested slightly at my unwavering gaze.
"Can you promise me something?" I suddenly had to ask her, I had to make sure I did everything I could to ensure she was okay. She thankfully acquiesced immediately. "Don't ever go out into the field again."
Her eyebrows creased in confusion, but when I smiled, she smiled.
"Deal," She agreed.
Firstly, how AWESOME was the finale? Awesome, I tell you. Apart from the lack of Jecker, but still... we'll all pretend there was amble Jecker in 5x6, shall we? :) Who's hoping (perhaps rather futily) for a series 6?... PLEASE, pretty please, writers/funders?
Oh, and also, I totally called Jess taking her noisy (but amazing!) heels off, did I not? Okay, so not in the same way that it actually happened, but still... Lol.
Secondly, thank you again for reading! And reviewing (hint, hint? Please?) and I just want to let you all know that I'm writing another Jecker fic, probably set after 5x6 but could be whenever really, unless I can't resist to put in something about Abby/Connor. Basically, I'll hint: cue Becker meeting the whole extended Parker family at a barbeque. :)