Hello. So, this is the final chapter. My first romantic story. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, favourite and followed this story. Further thanks are at the bottom.
On a more boring note, you may not see me writing anything more than an odd short story or adding to Anomalies (plug!) for a while as life is about to go crazy for me and I'm not starting a story I can't hope to up-date regularly. Let's face it, I'm bad enough as it is.
However, back to this. Hope you liked the story and enjoy the ending. Certainly been fun writing it. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Primeval. Which some might say is just as well.
When Abby picked her up, Jess was still fuming. After convincing the blond woman that the security men had the fairly simple situation under control, she demanded to be taken home and, once she got there, stormed straight into her room, slamming her door behind her. Abby followed her so far, but refused to go near her until she had calmed down.
Connor, who had been sat in the back seat and played witness the whole thing, slumped down on the sofa and sighed. This routine was starting to get old. He looked up at Abby with pleading eyes.
"Please. Just tell her dump Scott and go out with Becker. End of." Abby cocked her head to one side as she fixed him with a stare. Connor, however, was not backing down. "That's what you want. That's what she needs. Please Abby. Fix it."
"You can't just fix a relationship. She has to decide of her own free-will or she won't be happy whoever she's with." Connor groaned. "Look, it's only going to go on for another week tops. Just grin and bear it."
"No. 'Cos it won't. She'll choose Scott and then she'll avoid the security rooms for a while and I'll be sent on errands and..." Abby smirked. "Hey hey. You think this is just about those three. I'm suffering too, I tell you." Abby bit back a snigger and nodded.
"She might choose Becker." Connor leaned back.
"Yeah. 'Cos Becker's brilliant at dates, isn't he?" He sighed. "Tomorrow, I'm taking my skateboard back to the ARC, no matter what Lester says. I'm not walking from the ADD to security all the time!"
"It's Saturday tomorrow. And you're going shopping with her."
And so the argument ensued about what kind of language was suitable to be used with Rex in the room.
Connor was precise enough in his predictions about Jess avoiding the drilling hall the following Monday. He was still fed up from hearing about what had happened over and over again on the shopping trip, a story made worse by the offer of a date on Monday evening arriving from Scott directly before they went.
He once strayed too close to the ADD and ended up having to take an extra form down. Lester had fits when he saw the young scientist on his skateboard, but as soon as the situation had been explained to him, he cursed the mess young love caused and went stalking back to his office, determined not to fulfil the duties of office Cupid for that one day.
Matt decided to copy everyone else and avoid the ADD unless he absolutely had to. Whenever he entered, he made sure he always appeared to have enough work to fill his day, week and year so as to brush off any attempts to gossip by Jess.
Abby was nowhere to be seen.
The afternoon wore on and eventually Becker emerged from his section. As soon as the Captain was sighted heading towards the ADD, the rooms cleared as everyone bolted away from they thought could only be a horrendous fight. Becker was going down.
As soon as he stepped into the room, Jess swung around, legs crossed and arms folded. Becker was taken aback by the coldness of her and his hand immediately went to his pocket. He knew he could never defend himself with words, not without saying something which revealed too much, too soon. So, actions it was going to be.
"What?" demanded Jess. He pulled out some chocolate, a rich caramel flavour and held it out to her. Jess stood, advanced forward and accepted the gift.
"It's not orange," Becker said simply, not sure what to say until he could gauge her reaction. Jess stared at it for a second, then looked back up to him.
"And that's supposed to be an apology?" She stomped her foot down and raised her voice. "You called me weak! You insulted me while on a date! Did you realise that? Did you actually comprehend that that was the point of the entire evening?! YOU MADE ME FEEL SO USELESS!"
"I didn't mean to," answered Becker, feebly.
"Then what did you mean? What did you think you could achieve by INSULTING ME?!" Jess poked the chocolate up Becker's nose, the sharp corner digging into him. He struggled to find any words for a minute, never having faced Jess so angry at him before. Normally, she was just so sweet. "WHAT DID YOU MEAN?!"
"I MEANT TO GET YOU OUT OF THERE!" he shouted back, before breathing in and lowering his voice. "I wanted you out of harm's way. Like you said, it was a date and no man wants his girl to die on his date."
Jess took a step back. It was natural to look at the insult alone, but when it came down to it, they were in a dangerous situation. For goodness' sake, she was almost hit by the creature for acting too impulsively. Becker stepped forward and took her hand.
"I wanted to protect you. That's not only my job; that's what I want to do as your friend. To protect you from Scott, because he's a great guy, but he runs in without any clue of what he'd doing and where he's going with anything." Becker sighed. "Maybe it's not my place to do that though. I'm sorry." He took a step back. "Enjoy your evening with Scott."
The Captain started to leave. Jess stood watching his back for a few seconds, before calling out after him.
"Becker. My friend? Just my friend?" Becker turned slowly and Jess saw a hint of anguish on his face. She feared the worst, but tried to remember all the reassurances that Abby had tried to impress on her.
"Jess, I won't steal you off Scott. I'll persuade you to leave him, yes, but just take you, no." He turned to leave, but twisted his head as he made a decision on his head. "Maybe if you become single."
Jess bit back a sob in her throat as she watched him go.
That evening, Becker watched Scott prepare for his date with a cold certainty that his efforts when so badly that Scott would probably have to cut off her arm for Jess to leave him. He'd told Scott how his date had gone, although he pretended a bunch of armed robbers had stormed in, rather than a dinosaur. It provoked questions, but not ones as complicated as they'd been after the pub.
Becker settled himself down in front of the TV as he tried to distract himself from the fact his friend was making a mistake. He fidgeted for a while, but couldn't relax. How could he stop her? There was only one and he was unsure he wanted to commit to that. Three words which hold a heck of a lot of responsibility.
But he was responsible for her. As a friend. As an admirer. As someone who wished he had the confidence to do something. What had she said? He should have done something. Said something.
He looked at the clock. Scott had left forty minutes ago. This was his last chance. His final opportunity to storm in, summon the courage and say something. His mind was made up. He'd lose Scott as a friend, that much was for certain, but he knew he couldn't live with himself if he saw Jess upset over him.
He sprang up, grabbed his coat and wracked his brains as to where Scott could have taken her. He could track them down. Surely he could. He checked his keys, switched off the light, opened his front door...
And ran straight into Jess.
She was standing on the porch, her hand held up to the doorbell. He saw her mascara was still intact, which surely meant she hadn't been crying, but looking past her, he saw a taxi pull away and no sign of Scott. There was an awkward pause until he stepped back and allowed her to enter, which she did silently.
"I hope I'm not getting in your way. You were just going out, but... I just..."
"It's fine. Jess." He waited for a second, thinking about whether to admit why he was leaving. In the end, he realised he'd decided he was going to do something. Now was better than anywhere else he guessed. "I was going to find you."
Jess' eyes lit up, the streetlight from the outside dancing wildly in her pupils. Becker coughed quietly and closed the door, sure Scott was not about to appear. He gestured to the living room and she smiled slightly, accepting the invitation.
"Why?" She asked, before sitting down on the sofa. "Why were you going to find me? This was Scott's night technically." Becker fiddled with his fingers, then sat in a chair opposite her.
"Just because... I didn't want you to make the mistake. He'd not right for you." She opened her mouth, but he continued. "That doesn't mean I'm right for you either. That's a separate issue. But I know he's not right for you. So I had to stop you. To protect you." He sat back, relieved to get that out. "Now, why are you here?"
Jess blushed and looked down. Becker waited for a while, not afraid of the silence; he wasn't talkative, so he had to be comfortable with it. She eventually looked up at him and slipped her hand delicately into her bag. He frowned as she pulled out a slender block and passed it to him. He immediately knew what went wrong, but it surprised him.
"Is it bad that when it came down to it, after all that happened on your date, this whole competition was decided on the fact that he brought me orange chocolate? Does that make me shallow?" She slumped backwards, finally allowing herself to relax. "He was perfect. Never so great he was intimidating, but seemed to be moulded to fit me. Even his past, it just made me relate to him even more, made me sympathise with him even though he'd done wrong. But as soon as he made a mistake..."
Becker turned the chocolate over in his hands several times. There were little pictures of oranges elegantly drawn on the front and the writing, though swirling and wavy, was a bold orange. He can see why Scott thought Jess would like it; it had the bold colours she was so fond of wearing. He glanced up at her as she trailed off. She responded by sighing and sitting forward again.
"I didn't want to get over it. I went into the first date looking for faults, anything to show he wasn't the right man for me, but I had a wonderful evening. Didn't stop me looking. I just needed an excuse to leave him and I would have done, because in my mind it was still only a temporary arrangement."
"I told you he'd cheated on another woman. That wasn't enough of a fault?" argued Becker, confused.
"I told you. I related to him more, because of it. Told Abby so. That fault was too close to home for me to admit it was bad enough to leave him for; it would have been like... admitting something is wrong with me and that's not what I set out to do."
"Then what did you set out to do?" asked Becker, who had the strangest feeling she was referring to something he didn't know about.
Jess went quiet. Throughout all of this, Becker had remained more or less ignorant of her true intentions, of the reasons she had gone on the date with Scott about two and half months ago. It hadn't gone as planned, but then the plan was for a date without Becker knowing, then let him know if it went well. It went well, but she didn't continue through, because deep down she knew she was just waiting for Becker. As always.
She realised Becker was still waiting for an answer. She couldn't ramble her way out of this one. She wanted him to say something to her. Now, she had to say something back.
"I wanted to date Scott to see if he was good enough... to stop flirting with you for." She picked her words carefully, trying not to expose just how deeply her emotions went; it was far too soon for that.
Becker whistled. He knew they'd been flirting, as much as he deny it, but this... this was coming very close to putting it into words. He let the silence fall for what felt like a long time, even for him. He considered Jess carefully, before asking:
"I didn't stop. Not until you found out."
Becker stood up and ran his hand through his hair. He stared at the field co-ordinator looked her up and down. She was wearing a blue dress, her hair done perfectly and her make-up applied with care. For another man. A man she had just left. This was not the time for the conversation about them.
"Do you want a cup of tea?" he enquired suddenly. Jess started and frowned at such a strange response to what came dangerously close to a declaration of love. "A cup of tea and we can put on a film. Pick one from the very limited range I possess." He waved over to the pile.
"Right now, you've just broken up with your boyfriend. Yes?" Jess nodded; she supposed Scott had been a boyfriend technically. "Well, let's take your mind off that and have a friendly night in. He won't be back tonight; he'll have probably gone to his brother's or he'd be back by now. So, we can have a night as friend to distract you from it all."
Jess smiled. That sounded very uncomplicated and simple, a state she'd missed throughout the whole pitiful journey. She slipped her bag down the side of the sofa and kicked off her heels as Becker went to put the kettle on.
She started to look through the DVDs until a thought struck her, as words that had been said earlier that day floated back to her.
"Becker!" she called. Becker appeared, leaning in the doorway. She looked up to him from where she was kneeling. "Now, I'm single." Becker pulled himself upright.
"Not tonight Jess. And maybe... not tomorrow either. I think I need to see if I need a new flatmate and we both need time. A decent amount of time. Let's just be friends for a while."
Jess's heart dipped slightly, but she saw sense in what he said. And hope. There could be a future for them, together, and it looked more likely than it did three months ago.
Hopefully, one day he'd say something more.
Yes, yes I did it! I left them as friends. Maybe one day it'll get picked up again (though I refer to my note at the start), but for now, I leave them in simple peace (I'll bet Connor and Abby are glad).
Thanks to everyone who reviewed including: SadenBecker, InvisibleBlade and primevalyank (thanks for the all amazing, numerous reviews), a Guest (may have been the same person each times – I don't know), Anna and gemma, Prawn Crackers, SveaR, DrPrimeval, Just Ellee, Remixz, BethTHEbuiscuit, mustangsally97. Legolasgirl, EvilNickelbackObssessedTechy and finally Mijo54, who gets the award for reviewing every chapter (Merci!) Possibly one of the most reviewed stories (per chapter) I've had. Been incredible!
Thanks also to everyone who favourite the story including GODISAWESOME, InvisibleBlade, Mijo54, Prawn Crackers and primevalyank.
Hope you enjoyed the ride! =-)