This first chapter is a bit of a filler just to give a sense of how they interact with each other and where relationships stand. I assume you know this but I don't own This Mean War in any way, shape or form. I do, however, own Jessica, Stuart and anyone else who might pop in that you don't know. Feedback either by review or PM would be much appreciated because if I don't know what I'm doing wrong I can't fix it.
Summary: Jessica was brought up with FDR – he's like her brother – and this is how she squeezes herself into the film. With her feelings for Tuck being less than platonic but not romantic enough to act on, Jess flows into the story but only changes it slightly. Tuck/OC…in due course but drama aplenty! With stalkers, explosions and things for appearance's sake life will never be easy when your associated with the CIA.
Read, enjoy and…review?
Much love and thanks,
I sat with my back against a tree on the cool grass staring out at the ten perfectly set tables on the lawn and the people sitting at or running between them. Family, that's who these people were and the two men with their backs currently to me were the ones I was closest to. Well, Tuck wasn't actually family and I didn't think of him like that but to FDR he was. I had been forced into a dress for the occasion – a horrific piece of fabric that was like a tight black t-shirt at the top connected to a flowing white skirt – with my unruly brown hair tied loosely at my neck.
"Why the heck are you two sittin' over here all by yourselves?" I heard Nana ask and focused my attention to the table a few feet away from me. "You're not going to make me any great-grandbabies this way!"
Un-oh, that talk again! I stood up and tried to inconspicuously slip away.
"It is a family gathering Nana; I don't think you want us making any great-grandbabies today." FDR quipped.
"To be fair," Tuck added "I have already provided you with a wonderful great-grandchild." That was true, Joe was amazing.
"Yeah but that doesn't count because you screwed it all up!" Nana replied.
"Ouch." Tuck said at the same moment I thought it.
"And don't think you can slink off Missy!" Nana called making me cringe and turn around. "You are no closer to children than these two lumps!"
Said two lumps grinned at me and stood up.
"Hey Jessie." FDR said as he hugged me.
"Hey." I replied after kissing his cheek. "Hi Tuck." I said and repeated the process with him.
"How've you been love?" he asked me as I sat down next to him.
"Same old." I said with a smile. "You two? Been keeping out of trouble?" It was my subtle way of asking if they had nearly been killed lately.
"Not really but it keeps life interesting." he replied with an adorable grin.
I had found out seven years ago that they both worked for the CIA because, really, when you find a false wall hiding a small armoury in your brother's house, the truth is the only explanation that will wash. When you look at the Foster family tree it will tell you that Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foster and Jessica Jane Foster are cousins – my mum and his dad – but we both grew up with Nana and 'cousins' simply doesn't cover how close we are.
"Well?" Nana asked.
"Nana you know how much I want a family! I've just never dated a guy that's worth having one with." I said truthfully.
"Have you at least met someone who is?" she pushed.
Now, I could just be paranoid but I'm pretty sure that when her eyes swept over the three of us they stayed on Tuck for a beat too long before looking pointedly at me. If the guys noticed though, they didn't say anything. I simply raised my eyebrows in response, silently telling her that I was not answering that one, though I did start to bite the inside of my lip. Nana always said that "honesty's the best policy" so I wasn't going to lie. After a few seconds of silence I lowered my eyes to the tablecloth.
"Come on Louelle," I heard my Grandpa's gravelly voice say and looked up from the uninteresting design to see him giving Nana a kiss. "Let's show these kids how it's done, huh?" they both gave us meaningful looks before he escorted her to the dance area.
"It's kinda gross when they kiss." FDR complained and I nodded but Tuck didn't seem to notice. "God I love that kid." he continued, oblivious to his friend's stupor.
I let out a soft chuckle as my young cousin Daniel fell to ground with a blue bucket on his head.
"S'goin' on?" he finally asked Tuck through a mouthful of cake. The latter-mentioned had been staring at our grandparents since they had started dancing. "Hey, Mister Deep-in-thought." he said prodding Tuck with his fork. He replied with an absentminded 'hmm?' and FDR asked "Wanna talk about it?"
After a couple of failed attempts to form words Tuck finally said "Nothing, I just think it's lovely isn't it? It's really lovely."
I glanced back at the older couple dancing and conceded that he did have a point – to be able to have someone like that: to have loved and been with someone for all those year and to still be able to share simple things like a dance and to get lost in each other's eyes…
"What's lovely?" FDR asked and I rolled my eyes – he was so dense sometimes.
"Well I love the way they look into each other's eyes like that." Tuck explained with a hint of awe in his voice.
"I'm pretty sure that's the cataracts." FDR said and I suppressed a snort.
"Okay look, you asked me a serious question didn't you?" my attention was piqued by this. When FDR nodded in affirmation and made a vague noise of agreement Tuck asked "Right, so what, do you want a serious answer?"
"Do you want me to put the cake down is that…?" "Yes please, thank you." "The cake is down, talk to me." He said, turning in his chair to face his best friend.
"Right, seriously, man show," Tuck began.
"What am I, spare ribs?" I interrupted making both spies jump – I didn't think it was possible so I gave myself a mental pat on the back – they had forgotten me!
"No! I-uh…" Tuck stammered.
"It's fine." I assured him. "I'll see you guys later."
They both looked apologetic which made me smile as I stood up. I kissed both of them on the tops of their heads as I passed them and wound my way through masses of my family.
I heard Tuck begin "I trust you. I know you'd do anything for me, I'd do anything…"
Another smile worked its way onto my face, I loved those guys!
"Hey you two." I called as I make my way from the bar.
After receiving two kisses on the cheek I hopped onto one of the pool tables that wasn't being used – Tuck had his back to me.
"So let me get this straight: you've put your personal, private details on a very public website?" FDR asked in bewilderment.
"Yes." Tuck sighed, turning to shoot me a glare – I had choked on my beer at FDR's question.
"Are you insane?" FDR and I asked.
"No." he replied. I'll admit, the way he said it made my toes curl and my mouth twitch into a grin.
"What're you talking about anyway?" I chimed in.
"Tuck's registered with an online dating service!" FDR crooned. Queue me choking again.
"Where are taking her?" FDR smirked.
"Don't do that to me!" he said but I could hear the prominent smile on his face.
Then something hit me. Tuck had put his details on a dating website. He was looking to date someone. There is one thing you should know about my relationship with Tuck Hansen: I like him. It's a complicated like though because I've known him for ten years and we've always been close. But my feelings aren't 100% platonic; most of the time they're more like…60% though that can shift a bit. Which is enough for my heart to beat just a wee bit faster when he's around and a smile to be on my face most of that time and for some of the small, almost insignificant, things that he does to make my insides squirm pleasantly; but not enough for me to want to jeopardise our amazing friendship. When he'd met and married Katie I was fairly okay with it; though my average mood level did drop by a fraction and I'd find myself in need of a pint of Ben and Jerry's at odd times.
"You're such a cheese ball!" FDR exclaimed in a voice a few octaves higher than normal – I'd have to thank him later for pulling me out of my thoughts.
"What?" Tuck asked bashfully.
"Look, here's how it's gonna go down: you're gonna go on this date and I'm gonna go on this date with you." FDR stated.
At this point I forsook my beer – I was getting pretty tired of snorting it up again – and gave my attention fully to the two men in front of me. The mood had just turned serious.
"No you're not!" Tuck declared.
"Yes I am! I'm scared for you man: you haven't done this in a long time. This girl could be all sorts of crazy." he defended which made Tuck laugh. "And besides, half those girls pee standing up Tuck, and the other half are on one of our watch-lists!"
"It's just a date." I tried when Tuck sighed – why was I sticking up for this?
"Well lucky for you I'm free tonight." FDR continued. "I'm gonna bring the binoculars, I'm gonna bring the hand cream-"
"Franklin!" I warned.
"I'll keep a hundred-yard radius – it'll be sweet stuff."
"Or you could just let the poor bugger go on his date alone! There is this thing called privacy." I suggested.
"Thank you!" Tuck said. "Besides, I'm not comfortable with you watching me date, it's wrong. It's just wrong mate." Tuck said reaching for his beer and taking a swig of it.
"Fine, I'll be around the corner on ringtone; I'll be at the video store. One ring means you need an extraction, two means you need a cleaner, three means I can get home." he compromised.
Tuck considered this.
"Two hundred yards." he stated.
The two friends laughed and I joined in but felt the need to voice "This could end badly you know."
"Ah, you worry too much." FDR said. "To dating!" he toasted and we chinked bottles.
I caught sight of the clock on the far wall and swore – verifying with my watch I leapt off the table. I'd only have an hour to get ready!
"Shit, I'm late!" I said. "I'll see you guys later." I tossed over my shoulder as I shot out of there to hail a cab.
I heard vague calls goodbye as I overanalysed every item of clothing in my wardrobe to figure out what to wear on my date. I had been planning to tell them about it but after hearing that FDR was planning to recon' Tuck's I had decided not to. Stuart seemed like a nice guy – we'd met briefly a few times at work (we were both doctors) so I'd seen no harm in accepting a date. Hindsight is great thing though.
What do you think of Jessie? How is my characterisation? Did you like it/love it/hate it? Please let me know!
Much love and thanks,