Rating: M (just in case)
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to ITV1. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time. The idea of the story as well as the story itself – including all possible pre- or sequels published afterwards – are mine.
Summary: Written for just_kiss_her. The prompt was “A strange infection from beyond the anomaly means that the team are quarantined in the medical bay until further notice. The others get better enough to leave, but it looks dire for Jess and Becker.” by facefullofcake.
Warnings: not beta-read, angst, drama, despair – the whole programAuthor notes: Don’t kill me after having read this. I was in the mood for something really sad. If you want a happy ending, just post a prompt that makes me write a sequel to make things right. ;)
“What does that mean, there is no cure?” Matt asked, ready to hit the man standing in front of them.
“I’m sorry, I really am,” Dr. Doyle said, sounding tired and distressed. “But there’s nothing we can do.”
Abby swore silently. When the creature had come through the anomaly to attack Becker, they’d never have thought it could carry an infection. When he showed the first symptoms, they’d all been forced into quarantine for a week; the whole team including Jess.
The doctors had taken several blood samples, eventually revealing that Matt, Emily, Abby and Connor were fine. But Jess and Becker were not.
“What is this infection?” Emily wanted to know.
“Well, at first we thought it was a virus,” Dr. Doyle explained. “It’s small and it inserts itself into the red blood cells. But it behaves more like a parasite. It feeds on the blood cells eventually destroying them and moving on to the next. But unlike a virus, it doesn’t multiply.”
“And it’s not possible to remove the parasite from the blood?” Abby asked. “Like filtering out the infected blood cells or something?”
Dr. Doyle sighed. “Even if we replaced their entire blood, it wouldn’t help. The source of the smaller parasites infecting the blood is a larger organism we discovered in the CT scan.” He pressed a few keys, and the pictures of the scan showed up on his computer screen. “It’s linked to the brain stem. There’s no way to remove it.”
“What will happen then?” Emily carefully asked.
“The red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs everywhere through the body,” he explained. “Without them, there will be no oxygen transport, meaning that eventually, all organs will fail, either the brain or the heart leading the way.”
“But… there has to be something we can do,” Connor said, unwilling to accept that his two friends were condemned to die.
“There is no way to remove the parasite,” Dr. Doyle replied. “Everything we tried would kill the host as well.”
“We have to tell them,” Matt stated, already heading for the locked section in the back of the medical bay.
“Hey,” Becker greeted, jumping up from the bed he’d been sitting on. He could tell from the look on Matt’s face that he had news – and that they were anything but good.
“It’s a parasite,” Matt informed him. “It’s linked to your brain stem, that’s why they can’t remove it. The smaller parasites are destroying your blood cells, and eventually, the oxygen supply will no longer be possible.”
“So we’re going to die,” Jess said, her voice unusually calm for a conclusion like this.
“We’ll find a way,” Matt promised. “At least we won’t stop looking.”
“You’ll be monitored in case your condition gets worse,” Dr. Doyle said as he turned around the corner. “We’ll check your vital signs and the oxygen saturation in your blood every hour. We can fill the room with pure oxygen and…”
“It’s all just prolonging the unavoidable,” Becker mumbled, swearing slightly. He turned to Jess, his face filled with concern and guilt.
She tried to give him a smile.
“We’ll keep looking,” Matt assured him. “Abby and I are going to examine the raptor that carried the parasite. In the meantime, the whole medical staff is working on finding a cure.”
“I’ll run some scenarios on the computer,” Connor offered. “Maybe I’ll find a way to remove the parasites.”
“Thanks,” Becker said, giving them an appreciating nod. He knew they would do everything in their power to save them. He also knew they would fail.
Nodding, they all bowed out, leaving Jess and Becker behind on their own.
“I’m so sorry, Jess,” he whispered. This wasn’t supposed to happen to her.
“This is not your fault,” she told him.
Becker ran a hand through his hair. “Of course, it is. You took care of me after I collapsed in the ADD. That’s how you got infected, too.”
“Maybe,” Jess said. “But it was my decision to take care of you – and I would do it again in the same situation. I couldn’t just let you collapse in front of me and ignore it.”
He sat back down next to her on the bed, reaching out to gently brush her cheek. “Still you shouldn’t be here. This shouldn’t be happening to you.”
“But it is,” she replied. She’d never thought that in a situation like this she’d be the one offering comfort. “I don’t want you to put that blame on yourself.”
“You will die because I infected you,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. “How can I not put that blame on myself?”
Jess sighed. “I was the one throwing myself at you after the creature attacked you, wasn’t I?”
He raised his head to look at her.
“How can you be sure that I haven’t been infected then?” she continued. “What tells you I’ve been infected after you collapsed?”
He opened his mouth to say something, but wasn’t sure what to say, so he closed it again.
“For all we know, it can also be entirely my fault,” Jess told him, reaching out to cup his cheek with her hand. “Still I wouldn’t want to undo anything.”
He smiled wearily, stroking her cheek as she stroked his. “I love you, Jess, do you know that?” he whispered.
She blinked at him, puzzled, then smiled and replied, “I love you, too. I always have.”
He took her hand in his, placing a gentle kiss into her palm. “I mean it,” he said. “I love you.”
A tear ran down her cheek as she whispered, “I’ve been hoping for you to say that for so long. Did it really take a deadly parasite for you to finally make a move?”
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, leaning in closer. “I’m sorry it took me so long.”
Leaning up a little, Jess crossed the small distance between them, pressing her lips against his.
Wrapping both arms around her, Becker pulled her closer, as close as possible on the bed. The kiss was sweet and wonderful, and passionate and demanding. He had been pushing her away for so long, and suddenly, he didn’t seem to be able to get close enough to her.
If only they’d had more time. If only he’d made his move early.
When they broke the kiss, they were both panting heavily.
Leaning her forehead against his, Jess whispered, “You know, there’s just one thing I regret.”
“Yeah? What is it?” Becker panted.
Jess leaned closer to whisper into his ear, “That I will never find out what it would be like… with you.”
Pulling away a little, he looked at her. Then he tapped his earpiece. “Dr. Doyle?”
“Yeah, do you need anything?” the doctor asked over the comm.
“Actually, yes,” Becker told him. “We could need some private time to… properly rest.”
Jess’s eyes widened.
“Of course, no problem,” the doctor told him. “I’ll make sure no one will disturb you within the next two hours.”
“Thanks,” Becker said, and then took off his earpiece putting it on the bedside table.
“Here?” Jess asked, her heart already beating like mad. He couldn’t be serious. Even if Dr. Doyle granted them some private time, still someone could walk in on them.
Becker reached out to brush a strand of hair behind her ear. “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” he told her. “I just… wanted some private time, that’s all.”
Smiling, Jess leaned in for another kiss, and it soon became passionate, and hungry. She felt his hand sliding under her shirt, gently stroking over sensitive skin, and she moaned, letting her hands slide under his shirt in return.
Suddenly, all her worries were blown away. She just wanted. She wanted him. So she leaned back on the bed, pulling him with her.
Becker took his time to undress her, explore her body, and find out what she liked. This was the only chance he might ever get to be close to her, after all.
He was beautiful, and wonderful, and gentle. She’d always known it would be amazing, but this exceeded her dreams by far. He felt incredible, marvellous, just too good for words. And despite the fact that this was their first time together, he seemed to know exactly what she wanted, and what she needed.
From the moment his hand slid under her shirt to the moment she had to bite her lip to keep from screaming, she didn’t care who walked in on them. She just didn’t want the feelings he evoked in her to end.
Her touch was gentle, her skin soft and smelling of vanilla. Becker couldn’t remember when he had last wanted anything or anyone as badly as he wanted her. And he couldn’t remember when anything had last made him feel as good as her touch did.
It was mind-blowing, and beyond description. She was so beautiful, so sweet, and so perfect. He just couldn’t get enough of her taste and her touch. He couldn’t be close enough to her. He never wanted to let go of her again.
“You know, I really never thought it could be like this,” Jess panted as she snuggled up close against him, her fingers drawing invisible patterns on his sweaty chest.
“Yeah, me neither,” he whispered, pulling her closer against him and kissing the top of her head. “This was amazing.”
“Yeah,” Jess mumbled against his chest. “Too bad it’s going to be a one-off.”
Becker placed a finger under her chin to make her look at him. “It wouldn’t be if things were different.”
Smiling, she leaned up to kiss him again. She’d always been sure that if anything ever happened between them it would only be once. Even though dying of a parasite from beyond an anomaly had never occurred to her as a reason for that.
“We… should get dressed,” he suggested. They’d been lucky Dr. Doyle had kept his word and nobody had walked in on them. But lying naked in each other’s arms when they came to check on them again would certainly be just as obvious.
Realising that they were still in the medical bay and the two hours Doyle had given them were almost over, Jess blushed and hurried to pick up her clothes and put them back on.
Becker didn’t dare watching her, knowing that if he’d seen her putting on her clothes, they hadn’t stayed in their place very long. So he quickly got dressed himself. Before lying back down on the bed, spreading his arms.
Jess willingly climbed back on the bed, and snuggled up close against him.
“I’m sorry we never really had a chance,” Becker whispered all of a sudden.
Jess raised her head to look at him. It was getting harder to breathe; or at least she felt like she couldn’t get enough oxygen into her lungs. “We’ll get another chance,” she replied. “In another life.”
He chuckled at that. “Maybe then I won’t be such an emotionally inept idiot and make my move when I still have the time,” he stated.
Jess smiled, placing a chaste kiss on his lips. “I don’t regret anything,” she assured him. “No minute I spent with you was wasted.”
“I love you, Jess,” Becker whispered, feeling the dizziness and sleepiness taking over.
“I love you, Becker,” she replied, and laid her head back on his chest, unable to keep her eyes open any longer.Two hours and twelve minutes after Dr. Doyle had last checked on them, finding them asleep in each other’s arms, at 10.23 p.m. that night, both their hearts stopped beating concurrently.