Title: Before Its Too Late
Author: Maddie
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairing: Becker/Jess
Disclaimer: Not mine, just borrowing, no infringement intended
Summary: Written for the Just Kiss Her Already comment meme. Prompt was from morrigans_eve and read: " Becker finding Jess in tears, and coaxing an explanation from her."

Before Its Too Late

Becker cut the SUV's engine as he rolled to a stop in front of the Parker family home. Abby had literally called in the marines when Jess failed to return to her flat. With a very young civilian casualty and several injuries among his men, Jess had looked tense and withdrawn as she worked the last security forces around two anomalies and back to base. Becker had not noticed when Jess slipped away and hoped she had gone to her mother's.

The house stood imposingly dark. It was well past midnight as he rapped on the beautifully carved walnut door, flamboyant for this neighborhood, but somehow appropriate for the Parker family. No one responded but the door swung silently open under the force of his knuckles. Standing in the hushed foyer Becker debated the valor of a quiet, unannounced retreat. Glancing down the hallway he noted that except for one, the doors were wide open and dark. The tiniest sliver of light leaked from the closed room.

Noiselessly slipping down the hallway he rapped on the closed door. "Jess," he called softly. "Are you all right?" There was a soft rustling before the door cracked open slightly.

Jess peaked out. "Captain Becker? What are you doing here?"

Even in the subdued light he could tell she had been crying. "Abby was concerned when you didn't come home. I told her I'd check on you. I remembered you telling me your mother lived outside the city." That sounded lame even to him. She was going to think he was playing mother hen. "Are you all right?" he asked again, reaching out to place a finger under her chin and tip her head gently backward.

Jess shrugged and made a hiccup coughing noise, dabbing her eyes with a crumpled tissue. Then her face twisted and tears began anew. "

"Hey, hey" Becker said soothingly drawing her through the door and wrapping her in his embrace. He held her while her shoulders shook. She sucked in great gulps of air, her tears muffled by and absorbed into the front of his fatigue blouse. He shushed her, soothingly until at last her sobs subsided into hiccupping once again.

"Becker?" Jess questioned. "How do you deal with the people getting killed?" Jess sniffed and blotted her reddened eyes with a tissue. "How?" she asked again. "Especially the innocents."

That question Becker was not expecting. Truth be told he did not deal with the issue well, was too quick to accept the blame for each loss, saw each death as a failure on his part. He never wanted Jess to know the anguish of that doubt. He and everyone else in the ARC, thought Jess insulated from the violence, sitting in front of the ADD safe and secure, surrounded by banks of electronics, removed from the seemingly endless threat issuing from the anomalies on an almost daily basis. Her job didn't include dealing with death. She coordinated their movements in the field, made sure they had back up when they needed and distracted the curiosity seekers.

"I saw him die you know." Jess interrupted his self accusatory musing. "That young boy on the bicycle. I was watching on a traffic camera when he was attacked. The raptors came from nowhere and there was nothing I could do. Nothing. I couldn't even call your men and get them there in time." Jess's voice trailed off and her shoulders shook as she fought to contain a sob.

"Oh, Jess, sometimes there's nothing we can do. We try are hardest to prevent it from happening, but we don't always win. What did you tell me once. We can't save them all."

Jess nodded but did not seem to accept what he was saying. "When, moments later, you were facing the same pack, you could have ended up the same way." Jess studied his face intently. "And I would never have gotten the chance to tell you." She stumbled over the last few words, suddenly tongue tied. "Never gotten a chance to…"

"To what Jess?"

Standing up on her tip toes, Jess wrapped her arms around his neck and drew his face down, her lips meeting his in a kiss at once fierce and sweet and possessive. "Do that," she said with a sigh as she finally released him.

Becker took a deep breath, his heart pounding a fierce rhythm. He felt a small smile touch his lips. His hand tangled in her hair as he tipped her head back slightly. "Then let's not let that happen," he said.