Rating: Teen, adult situations and language. Violence and trauma.
Description: Jess and Becker have been dating for over a year, and Jess finds it's hard to be in a relationship with someone on the front lines at the ARC. Finally, the worry and stress are too much and she breaks up with him, but will being 'just friends' work?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This is just for fun.
Author's note: This is a bit sad and angsty in places but there is still fluff. This features my original characters and can be seen as a sequel to New Soldier or Jess' Birthday, and some of those stories, but doesn't have to. B/J are a couple as the story starts.
This is a long, drawn-out story, so far over 12, 000 words. It has a few twists and turns too. This chapter, 1694 words
Breakup, Chapter One
Jess hummed happily. It was a big night: her one year anniversary with Becker. She had intimate plans: a romantic dinner for two followed by some serious alone time. She'd bought a new slinky red nightgown just for the occasion.
She set the table complete with candles. The delicious takeout was ready to be dipped onto real plates. The champagne was chilling. She'd even managed not to eat all the chocolate covered strawberries. Now all she needed was her boyfriend.
He walked in the front door, right on cue. The first sight he saw was Jess, posing by the kitchen door, in a short, tight, bright pink dress. It had lace in strategic parts that hinted at the skin underneath.
"Wow," he said, looking her over. He broke into a wide grin, and his eyes sparkled. "I like."
She giggled. "Good reaction," she said.
"You look gorgeous."
"Thank you," she said, sauntering through the living room and over to him. She kissed him tenderly. "Like the hair?" she asked, referring to a tight bun. "I wore it this way so you could take it down."
He laughed. "I do like un-doing you."
She giggled more. He pulled her closer, kissing her passionately as his hands roamed over her body. "Hmm, Becker," she whispered.
"So this is why you sent me out, huh? To prepare to seduce me?"
She giggled. "Yes. I forgot what errand I sent you on."
He laughed. "Ice cream."
"Oh. Right," she said returning her lips to his. When they broke for air again, she asked, "Do you like my seduction strategy?"
"Oh yeah," he said kissing her neck.
She giggled. "Happy anniversary, darling."
"Oh, is that tonight?"
"Becker!" she cried, as he laughed.
"I think I forgot," he said, and then he pulled a box out of his pocket. "Oh, wait. I didn't."
She squealed. "I love presents."
She opened the box to find a large, colorful butterfly pin. "It's beautiful! Becker!"
He laughed as she jumped into his arms. "So you like it?"
"Duh," she said pinning it on.
He stopped her. "No, you don't. I get to pin it on," he said. She smiled and let him fix it to her dress. "It's looks lovely," he said. "Of course, that's mostly because you look lovely."
"Awe," she said, kissing him. "How hungry are you?"
He smiled. "Oh, I see something I want to devour," he said, leering.
She giggled. "Don't move," she said grabbing the grocery bag. She ran to the kitchen and hurriedly threw the ice cream in the freezer. Then she ran back. "OK, devour away."
He laughed, and scooped her into his arms. "Now this is an attractive appetizer," he said, carrying her toward the bedroom as she giggled.
Then both their mobiles went off.
They groaned and cursed. Reluctantly, they both answered, and got the news they dreaded: incursion with casualties, all personnel called in.
"Damn it," said Jess. "So much for our anniversary."
"Yeah," he said. "Don't worry. My appetite will return."
She giggled, and kissed him. "It better." She sighed. "Let's go save the British people."
They drove quickly to the ARC, meeting the rest of the team in Ops.
"What is it?" asked Becker.
A tech, Epstein, was manning the ADD. "Terror birds," he said, "running through the theaters of the West End."
"Stupid things couldn't show up off season," said Lester. "Do you know how many of my superiors have season tickets? I'll be swamped with complaints."
"Yeah, that should be our priority," said Matt. Lester glared.
"What's the status of the team?" asked Becker.
"Not good, Captain," said Epstein. "I'm sorry, but the responding team is down: four injured, and two dead. "
"Plus dozens of civilians hurt. Five confirmed dead," continued Epstein. "There will probably be more.
"It's mayhem," said Lester.
"We have two teams on the way, but there are so many terror birds they need extra help."
"And there are still too many civilians running about," added Lester.
Connor groaned. "Sounds bad."
"It is," said Epstein. "Glad you're here, Jess. I'm having trouble coordinating the police and rescue services."
"I'll whip them into shape," she said.
Epstein held her chair out for her. "Wow. You look beautiful."
"Thank you," she said, sitting in front of the ADD. "I had plans," she said, shooting a regretful look at Becker. He sent it back.
"Didn't we all," said Lester ruefully. The others grunted in agreement.
"Let's move out," said Matt.
Becker nodded, taking a black box.
"Be careful," said Jess.
"Always," he said, kissing her quickly. "Be back soon."
Even before they arrived, Jess could see that they had their work cut out for them. She tried to corral the civilians, but they were in a full blown panic. She directed police to the crowds, but the terror birds were everywhere, panicking the police.
She patched Lester in to as many theater owners and directors as she could. They got a theater by theater account of where the incursions were.
"We've narrowed it down," said Jess. "Only two theaters have confirmed sightings inside."
"I've closed all of them on my authority, just to be safe," said Lester. "Some of the patrons locked inside will not be happy."
"At least they'll be alive," said Abby.
"That should lighten their moods," said Emily, drawing laughs from the others.
"OK. Noel Coward Theater: there are at least three Terror Birds inside the auditorium itself, two in the main lobby," said Jess, "and ten more confirmed on the grounds outside. Then we have a sighting of five more inside the theater across the street."
"Good work, Jess,' said Matt. "We're at the Noel. Let's split up. Abby and Connor, you take the other theater. Emily and I will take the outside here. Becker, you handle the inside."
Becker nodded, and split his men up to provide them all backup.
"Jess, direct the other units to help us outside."
"Copy," she said. "Be careful."
Jess was distracted from her worry over Becker by the commotion. She had the theaters locked down, but the other streets around them were still chaos. She broke into the police frequency and directed them to specific trouble spots.
Lester spoke with the fire and police chiefs and got their full cooperation. Slowly, the first responders were reined in, and stopped panicking. They were then able to corral and calm the general public.
At the same time, the extra ARC manpower arrived and together they began capturing and EMDing the Terror Birds.
"We have unconfirmed totals of at least thirty birds so far that have been captured, stunned or killed," said Jess.
"Starting to make head way," said Lester.
"Good. How's it going inside?" asked Matt over comms.
"Chasing Big Bird's nasty grandpa," said Connor.
"We've got three down," said Abby. An EMD blast echoed over comms. "Correction, four."
Jess giggled. "Action Woman."
Connor chuckled. "New nickname Abs."
Abby laughed. "The soldiers have two more in concessions, and two in the balcony. Better update the number."
"Got it," said Jess. "Becker?"
"Here, Jess. I'm fine. Matt, we've two Terror Birds down," said Becker. "I've cornered one on the stage, but there's so much scenery and stuff…"
Jess bit her lip.
Becker cautiously moved around the stage. It was huge and dark. He silently moved through the scenery, carefully checking everywhere.
Then there was movement in the back curtain. He carefully approached and drew it back. Instantly he was bombarded with a high-pitched, terrified scream.
It was one of the orchestra members. She screamed and screamed. Becker couldn't calm her. He motioned to his men, who had joined him on stage. One of them took the screaming woman.
Becker had just turned back to the curtain when a flash struck him. He fell backwards, blood spewing from his neck.
Her monitors were filled with pandemonium as the Terror Bird tried to attack Becker's men. They fired, blasting the thing finally.
Becker lay still on the stage.
Jess managed to compose herself enough to direct medics. She kept on the other Terror Birds, leading team members to them.
Finally, the creatures were contained. On another screen, Connor and Abby closed the anomaly at their theater. Matt and Emily supervised the creatures transport to the anomaly. The mission was going well except…
Becker was still, unmoving. Jess was nearly hysterical inside, but her calm demeanor hid it. Her voice was unnaturally calm when she told Lester, "Becker's down."
Alarmed, he ran to her side, taking in the disturbing scene. A small group of soldiers stood rigidly, forming a circle around Becker. He was barely visible threw the throng of medics.
"He'll be alright," said Lester calmly, his hand on her shoulder. Jess nodded, fighting back the urge to break into a sobbing wreck.
Then they heard, "He's coding!"
Jess felt her heart stop. Lester's fingers dug into her flesh. They sucked in their breaths.
"Come on Captain!" cried a medic, administering CPR.
The tears streamed down Jess' face.
"Come on!" the medic screamed again.
Then Jess heard a whisper. It was Lieutenant Flowers, Becker's right hand man. "Don't do this," he whispered.
She heard another whisper, "Come on, Cap." It was Lt. Vale, the third in command.
Then there was silence.
Jess saw Matt and the others appear on the screen, standing helplessly as the medics tried to save Becker's life. She saw Abby look at the CCTV camera.
Jess began to sob. "No," she whispered.
Lester took in a breath, as tears began to escape.
"Come on!" screamed the medic thumping Becker's heart.
"We have a heart beat!"
Jess began to breathe again.
"It's gaining in strength! Let's get him to medical! Move!"
Jess sat still, gasping for breath.
"He's alive," said Abby softly in comms. "He's still alive, Jess."
Jess nodded, finally a grunt coming out. She watched as the medics carried him to an ambulance. Lester called for Epstein, and then he carefully pulled Jess out of the chair. With his arms firmly around her, he moved her slowly toward the medical section.
End of Chapter One