Title: Déjà vu
Rating: T (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 “There's a reason that the ARC staff don't use real guns with real bullets; but that doesn't mean that other people don't resulting in the injuring of an innocent party. (lethal or not).” by mydoctortennant.
Warnings: not beta-read, mild spoilers for episode 5.04Author notes: This kind of screamed character death to me. So – for those who like happy endings, and since I really needed to go down this path not to end up huddled in a corner crying like a baby – I decided to explore a new phenomenon, even for the show of time travels. ;)
She was tired, and distraught, and at her wits end. She didn’t know what else to do. She had tried everything, everything she could think of. But no matter what she did, by the end of the day one of her friends was going to die – and there was nothing she could do about it.
She had thought the first day had been hardest. When the anomaly had opened in the ARC, she had tried to get out of the ADD with the other staff that had been evacuated. Somehow – because the elevator had broken down and she’d had to take the stairs and… she frankly couldn’t remember all the details anymore – she had ended up in the corridor where the anomaly was.
Becker had told her to hide somewhere, and she had done as she had been told.
She had watched a creature coming through the anomaly, charging at Becker. One of his soldiers had shot at the creature, but it had been fast and so the surge had hit Becker. He had been thrown backwards and then had lain motionlessly on the ground.
Jess remembered screaming when he had been hit by the surge. She remembered rushing to him, but it had been too late. He had been dead. Dead.
The medics had rushed to him, but hadn’t been able to help him anymore.
Someone had driven her home. She didn’t remember anymore who or when or anything else that had happened that day after she had watched Becker die.
The next morning, she almost hadn’t been able to go to work. She had considered calling in sick, but she had known that if she hadn’t gone to work that day, she would have never gone there again.
And then, the moment she had set foot into the ARC, he had greeted her. Becker. He had been alive. And she had thrown herself around his neck, sobbing uncontrollably – telling him that she’d had the worst nightmare.
When the anomaly had opened in the ARC, it had dawned upon her. She was reliving the day. But was that even possible?
Then, she had watched him dying again. She had warned him when the anomaly had opened. But, of course, he hadn’t listened.
In the meantime, she had tried everything. At first she had tried to tell her team mates what was going on. But no one seemed to believe a single word she said. They’d looked at her like she was insane; until the anomaly had opened and Becker had died – once again.
She had even tried to distract Becker, which hadn’t been easy at first. She had tried to engage him in conversation, but of course, he’d headed for the anomaly once the alert went off. She had tried to drag him out of the ARC – turning out to be really creative about that. But every time he’d gone back and been shot.
She had tried to hide all the EMDs, and it had worked pretty well. But as a result, no one had been able to stop the creature and it had killed Becker, Connor and three more soldiers before she had been able to get one of the EMDs.
The next day, or well, the next time she had relived that day, she had tried hiding all the EMDs except for one. She had aimed at the creature, but hadn’t been able to shoot it. In the end, it had killed Matt.
Then she had tried the last way out she could think of. She’d dragged him into an empty office and pretty much ravished him. Much to her surprise, it had worked really well. From the moment her lips had met his, he hadn’t seemed to care about anything anymore.
He’d been about to rip off her panties when the alert had gone off – and for a moment she had feared that he would run to the ADD and then into the corridor again. But he hadn’t. He hadn’t cared about any anomaly, or any alert, or anything other than her.
It had been quick and wild and somehow animally, and still it had been the most amazing experience in her whole life.
And then they’d gotten the news that Abby had been killed.
She had tried to tell Connor about her reliving the same day over and over and over again, hoping he could do something about it and help her save everyone’s life.
He had come up with an explanation of a glitch in the anomaly, maybe another anomaly interfering with this one.
Jess had run a research, finding two more anomalies in the city opening at the exact same time. When she had told Connor about it the next time, he had told her that if they locked all three anomalies, she shouldn’t relive the day again. She had refused to give him the coordinates of the other two anomalies, though, knowing that if she didn’t relive the day, there would be no way to save her friends.
By now, she was sure there was no way of saving them. No matter what she tried, one of them had to die.
Maybe there was one other way. She needed to convince her team mates that she wasn’t insane, but was really reliving the day for what seemed like the millionth time. She was tired of this. She couldn’t stand seeing anyone die anymore.
Maybe together they could come up with a plan.
Lester looked at her for a second, before opening his mouth.
“Am I really expecting you to believe this?” Jess interrupted him. “No, I’m not. But if you don’t want to lose a member of this team, you will have to listen to me.”
Matt was the next to open his mouth, but again Jess was faster.
“Anyone could have guessed that Lester was about to say that,” she said. Then she pointed at Connor. “Wow, what now, you’re a freaking mentalist?”
She continued saying what everyone was about to say – including Lester’s request to stop this game – until Lester got up from his chair. “Okay, I’m convinced,” he said. “What do we do?”
“All I know is that there are three anomalies that will open at the same time,” she replied. “Connor had a theory that the anomalies are somehow interfering, turning the triangle between them into something like a time bubble. When we lock all three anomalies, the time should go on as usual again.”
“Should,” Matt grumbled.
“That’s what Connor said when I last told him about it,” she answered with a shrug.
“Well, once they’re locked they can’t interfere with each other any longer,” Connor added. “At least I guess so.”
“Okay, so, we lock the anomalies and everything will be fine,” Becker said.
Jess looked at him, distress written all over her face. “There’s a creature coming through the anomaly the moment it opens here in the ARC,” she explained. “I swear I tried everything, but… No matter what I tried, every time one of you died.”
From the look on her face Becker could tell that in most cases, it had been him.
“Then we have to find a way of breaking through this time bubble without anyone dying in the process,” Lester said. “First, we’ll evacuate the ARC.”
Jess sighed. She had tried that before. It hadn’t worked. Becker had still been killed. But she agreed nonetheless. The fewer people where around here, the fewer people could shoot Becker by accident.
“The gamma team will take care of the second anomaly, the delta team takes care of the third,” Lester commanded. “Were there any other creature incursions?”
Jess shook her head no.
“I have one question, though,” Matt jumped in. “Why are you the only one remembering all this?”
“I have no idea,” Jess replied. “According to Connor’s theory I must have somehow escaped the influence of the anomalies. But he wasn’t sure about it.”
“Well, maybe it’s because your apartment is exactly in the middle of the triangle the three anomalies form,” Connor said, looking up from the map in front of him. “But that’s… just another theory.”
“When exactly do the anomalies open?” Becker wanted to know.
Taking a look at her watch, Jess replied, “In thirty minutes and seventeen seconds.”
“Let’s get ready,” Lester said. “We’ll deal with this situation. This time, we’re prepared.”
Jess tried to give him a smile. They’d always thought they were prepared.
“Becker,” she softly said after they had left Lester’s office.
He turned around, giving her an expectant look.
She looked into his eyes for a second, and then smiled wearily. “There’s no way I can keep you away from that corridor, is there?”
Smiling, he reached out to put a strand of hair behind her ear. “Don’t worry, Jess, I’ll be careful.”
“You have no idea how often I’ve heard those words already,” she whispered.
“Come on, we’ve got to go,” Abby called out for him.
Giving her a last smile, Becker ran along the corridor.
She had to do something. There was no way she was going to stay here and wait for one of her friends to die. Especially not when there was no way to try again tomorrow.
Despite Lester’s order to stay at the ADD, Jess grabbed one of the EMDs and headed for the corridor.
“Hey, what do you think…” Matt started, but was interrupted by the anomaly opening in front of them.
The creature came through before Connor could lock the anomaly. As always, it charged at Becker.
Matt raised his EMD.
Everything was just like it had been the first time, and so many other times. There was no way she could ever save his life. There was no way she could make this right.
“No!” Jess exclaimed, throwing herself in the line of fire. She felt pain rushing through her body as the creature clawed her back before Abby stepped next to them and brought it down with her EMD.
Becker’s eyes widened as he watched Jess throwing herself in front of him and being clawed by the creature.
Her eyes were wide, and her lips slightly parted as she stumbled against him.
“Jess,” he whispered, breaking her fall, as she slid to the ground.
She looked at him, her eyes full of confusion and pain, and something he hadn’t expected to see in a situation like this: relief. “That… never happened… before,” she rasped.
She heard Abby call for the medics.
“Jess, no,” Becker said, his voice full of concern and grief. “Don’t talk, you… You shouldn’t talk right now.”
She felt something pulling her towards darkness as she was about to lose consciousness.
“No, Jess, please, stay with me!” Becker begged her. “Come one, stay with me! You can’t leave me like this.”
She struggled to keep her eyes open. All she wanted to do was sleep. She was so tired.
“You can’t just leave me, do you hear me,” he told her, his voice now filled with sorrow. “Because you have yet to go out with me for dinner, and for a movie, and… and I have yet to show you my apartment.”
She tried to give him a smile, but it turned into a frown as her face twisted with pain.
“Jess, please,” he whispered into her ear. “Don’t leave me.”
She felt hands pulling at her, someone placed a mask over her mouth, and she finally gave in to the need to fall asleep.
When she woke up, the first thing she realized was that this wasn’t her bedroom. If the smell surrounding her was anything to go by, she was at the medical bay.
Turning her head, she was surprised to see Becker sitting next to her bed.
He was startled by her movement and straightened in his seat. “Hey,” he greeted, smiling with relief like he’d done when she had woken up after her allergic shock.
“Hey,” she replied, smiling at him as well.
He gently stroked her hand with his. “Welcome back,” he whispered. “You scared the hell out of us.”
“Sorry,” she rasped. Her throat was sore, and she still felt sleepy.
“It’s okay,” Becker told her when he noticed she was struggling to keep her eyes open. “Go back to sleep.”
“Aren’t you going to run away,” she whispered, her eyes already closed. “Doing security stuff or something?”He chuckled, his hand still stroking hers. “Not this time.”