Hello! I've finally sorted out a new idea for a story and found I get to try rom-com (seriously my head just does a lottery of genres).
OK, so this is a sequel as far as it picks up where 'Boxed and Locked' stopped and isn't a sequel as far as it has nothing really to do with the story and may just have some passing references; all you need to know is [spoilers] Becker's been injured and the ARC's been blown up. And you can probably pick up on that anyway.
Disclaimer: I don't own Primeval. Or much writing skill, so this could go well... ;-)
Jess woke later that afternoon. It took her a minute to regain her senses enough to recognise where she was and as soon as she had, the previous night's events came flooding back with startling clarity. The ARC was largely destroyed, Becker and Matt had been trapped and Lester was in trouble with Phillip... again.
She squeezed her eyes tightly closed as she tried to block out the bright light that was streaming through the window. It was daytime, which made sense as it was dawn when Becker had asked her to stay the night; she should go and check up on the Captain seeing as the general gist of her being here was to see he wasn't too concussed.
There was a chinking of crockery downstairs, a noise she immediately picked up on with her power of sight removed, heightening her hearing. She smiled, feeling safe in the knowledge that at least Becker was alright enough to get downstairs. Still, it meant she shouldn't remain in the guest bed, out of politeness.
She hauled herself upright and reached for her top, which she had left rumpled on the chair next to her bed. At least it wouldn't look as if she'd slept in it. Next, she swung her legs around, but decided that she wouldn't put on her heels; the carpet was soft and had a distinct 'Becker cleanliness' to it. The first thing she did was pull the curtains and blink at the Sun which was well passed its peak. What time was it? She hunted the room for a clock and found one on the wall. About twenty five to six. Well, it had been a long night.
Slipping out the room, she nipped into the bathroom quickly to sort out her hair and makeup before heading downstairs. She slowly turned left at the bottom of the stairs and noted the kitchen-esque room through one of the doors off the corridor where the clinking was originating from. She pushed back the door.
"Oh, hello! You still here?" asked a dark-haired man who was standing, shirt hanging out, frying some tomatoes. Jess was taken aback slightly, but then the memory of last night... well, this morning came back. This was the flatmate Becker had introduced her to.
"Erm... yes," stuttered the small woman. "It had been a long day. Obviously. Sorry, we woke you this morning. Didn't know Becker had a flatmate. He... doesn't talk much about himself at work."
Scott smiled. "I know. As a flatmate, it's something I notice." There was a crack from the frying pan and Scott sprung back hissing, bringing his arm to cradle. He moved over to the sink and started to run what Jess presumed was a burn under the cold tap. An awkward silence descended upon the kitchen as Jess watched Becker's rather good-looking, she'd admit, flatmate pull faces of irritation.
Realising that staring probably wouldn't create the best impression, Jess picked up the spatula and turned over the tomatoes which were starting to burn. She felt Scott's playful eyes on her and turned around.
"Thanks," he said. "Erm... don't really have any spare for you though. I work hard and expect good solid meals at the end of the day. Could do you some toast though. In that bread bin there and the toaster's next... well, you can see." Scott twisted the tap off and went to dry his hand.
"Oh, no, don't worry. I'd better check on Becker, then go home. My flatmates, especially one of them, can cause a bit of a mess when left alone." Scott's eyebrow raised questioningly.
"Check on Becker? Last I knew he was a grown soldier who could look after himself. Or so he said. I knew it; he was lying all this time." Jess smiled as she recognised the character of Becker appearing in Scott's attempts at humour.
"He was injured last night. Head injury. Hence..."
"Oooo, and you're nurse maid, are you?" quipped Scott, a glint forming in his eye. Jess shook her head in embarrassment. "Well, you see to your patient, while I make you toast; I'm not eating alone just because he can't be bothered to keep himself safe." Jess opened her mouth to protest, but closed it realising that she could only cause herself more trouble by refusing the offer at this current moment. She scuttled out of the door.
Unbeknown to Jess, her predictions were coming rather true across town. Abby had woken up to the smell of bacon... and burning.
"Connor!" she cried when she saw the state of the kitchen. There were saucepans piled in the sink, flour coating on the cupboard panels and what looked suspiciously like frying fat coating the cooker top. "What on Earth were you doing?" Her eyes then landed upon a black patch on the ceiling. "Connor!"
Connor was sat at the table, munching on a mouthful of mushy potato and bacon. His fork was poised in midair as Abby fixed him with a ferocious gaze. He carefully lowered the loaded utensil and swallowed. He glanced around the kitchen, then back to his girlfriend.
"I'll clean it up," he promised.
"And that!" Abby exclaimed. "That's a burn mark! How are you going to clean that?! How did you manage that?!" She pointed at the dark patch and Connor followed her finger. He swallowed again, but this time there was no food involved.
"I only fell asleep for five minutes. Ten max."
"Look, I woke hungry. All that running and climbing and... typing last night really took it out of me. So I decided that I would cook something simple." Abby frowned. "Bangers and mash! With bacon instead as we had no... bangers. It's as simple as you could do it, but I sat down for one minute while it was cooking and next thing I knew, there was a flame two foot high."
"You could've burnt the flat down," Abby complained.
"Minor issue. Still, the final result was OK." Abby sighed, determined not to get into a pointless argument after everything that happened last night. She sat down heavily opposite and stole Connor's fork to try a bit. Nodding, she had to admit it was tasty and Connor pushed the plate to the middle of the table and grabbed another fork to share.
After a minute of silence, Abby suddenly frowned again. Connor looked at her, aware of a problem.
"Connor. Why is there flour everywhere?" Connor halted mid-chew.
Jess swallowed another piece of toast, trying not to cringe at the bitter burnt taste, but keep up a respectful smile. She'd come downstairs, after finding Becker fast asleep still, to a smoking toaster.
"You really don't have to eat that."
"No, it's fine."
"I know it's burnt."
"I can find a... grape somewhere." Jess paused as she ate, then swallowed.
"Well, several, then," answered Scott. "You are so demanding. Surprised Becker can stand having you as a girlfriend." Jess choked on her mouthful, coughing on the blackened crumbs.
"No, no, no. We're not together. I'm... just a colleague." She resumed her eating with intense concentration, missing the small smile that formed on Scott's face, as he lent back from his empty plate, arms behind his head. "I co-ordinate and direct him," clarified Jess, desperately trying to draw the subject away from her.
"Ah, the mystery job. He won't tell me anything about it, you know." Jess opened her mouth, but Scott waved her away. "Don't worry. It's classified and that's all I care. I don't want black ops appearing in the middle of the night. I get enough nights broken by him." He picked up his plate and stood up, grabbing Jess' as well, which still had half a slice of carbon left on it. She went to protest. "Oh, come on. You don't want this. It could be used as grit for the roads." He turned and went to chuck everything in the sink, toast and all.
Jess stood, at once more comfortable around the man. The things she'd told men she was ranged from the boring (secretary) to the downright absurd (wombat tamer) depending on how flustered she was and how much she'd had to drink; the wombat tamer was at three o'clock in the morning on a friend's hen night. It felt nice not to have to cover.
"What about you? Interesting job?" Jess perched herself on the corner of the table as Scott ran some water over the plates, sighing as the toast caught in the trap, causing a backflow. He turned to Jess swiftly.
"I'm a PE teacher so make your own judgements. Was..." Suddenly, Scott was cut off by a ringing upstairs. Jess' eyes widened as she recognised the tone.
"That's my phone," she explained, before jetting out the kitchen and up the stairs and reaching the phone just as it rang off. Cursing, she checked the screen and found it to be Abby. A couple of seconds later, a voice message was left, which made Jess worry; must be important.
Scott entered the room having followed her up the stairs. He leant against the door frame and Jess hurriedly called her messages and placed the phone to her ear, holding out a finger asking Scott to wait silently.
"...nor, don't do that! Jess! Jess! There's a bit of a problem at the flat... Connor! It's making it worse! Get a damp... One of the cooker rings was left on and now... You can't use that!... Look, if you could get back here soon-ish, I think we may need to turn off the electric and I don't know where the switch is... Get the extinguisher!... And I can't leave Connor with the fire. Sorry! Bye!"
The message came to an end and Jess hung up sharply. Stuffing the phone back in her bag, she grabbed her coat left on the same chair as her shirt had been and turned to Scott, pushing past him.
"I've got to get home now. Thanks for everything and... Becker! You're awake." The Captain emerged from his room with a surprised look on her face. Jess turned to Scott. "You can take him from here. I have to go." Becker blinked, confused, then looked at Scott, who shrugged. Jess ran down the stairs.
"Mate, you've got a hair out of place," said Scott unhelpfully, before rushing after Jess. Becker remained on the landing, bemused and with a spinning head which couldn't cope with all the input it suddenly had.
Scott caught up with Jess on their front door step. He grabbed her arm, causing her to jack-knife round sharply into him, losing her footing as she went. He grabbed her other arm and steady her.
"First, if you're going to drive, calm down." Jess nodded and took a few calming breathes. "Secondly, will you go on a date with me?" Jess' eyes widened. "Give me your number and I'll call you later." He smiled pleasantly. "Once you've saved your flatmates and I save Becker's sanity." Jess' breathing picked up again.
"You're very forward."
"I always try to grab the numbers of panicked girls, so their judgement is down. Being forward helps," he explained, deadpan. Jess giggled nervously, but pulled out a pen and paper and scribbled down her number hurriedly. She chucked the paper at Scott, so he had to reach to catch it, while she sprinted down the path before she could think about what such an action meant.
Five minutes later, in her car, she still couldn't work out if it was a good idea.
Please review. Gives me writing power. =-)