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 the just_kiss_her prompt “Jess finds out a little about Becker's family, and discovers, unsurprisingly, that there is a long history of military men. And maybe she discovers a few other things as well...” by deinonychus_1.
Warnings: not beta-read
Author notes: Sorry about the plot, I’m just too addicted to broken Becker. ;)
She wasn’t reading this because she wanted to spy on him or anything. She was just reading this because he was so damn secretive about… well, everything, really. All she wanted to know was whether his parents were still alive – and if he really was a single child, as Connor once had bet he was. Becker never talked about his family, and he even kept the date of his birthday from everyone.
She more or less found what she had expected. Apparently, there was a long tradition of joining the army in his family. His great-grandfather had been a successful admiral, his grandfather had been highly decorated during the Second World War – and his father had been a promising lieutenant before he had disappeared.
Jess frowned. People didn’t just disappear. Maybe this was how Becker had gotten here in the first place. Maybe his father had accidentally walked through an anomaly and been lost somewhere in the past – or in the future.
She decided to dig a little deeper, even though she knew she shouldn’t. She just had to know what it was that Becker kept from all of them. It would somehow make her feel closer to him.
When she found the answers, though, she wished she’d never searched for them.
She found the mentioning of Becker’s older sister in one of the files. Frowning even more, she searched for her name. She couldn’t remember Becker having ever talked about any siblings – and there weren’t any mentioned in his personal file.
And then she found the newspaper article.
Young woman dies in car accident, the headline said. Jess swallowed, briefly skimming the article.
“What they don’t mention is that it wasn’t an accident,” his familiar voice suddenly said behind her.
Jess whirled around and stared at him in shock. “Becker,” she shrieked. “I didn’t mean to… I mean, all I wanted was…” She interrupted herself when she saw the hurt written all over his face. Great, she’d just ruined their friendship. He would never talk to her again.
“She committed suicide,” he said, his voice was unusually calm for a statement like that, but Jess could see him swallow hard before he continued. “My dad asked the media not to write it, and surprisingly, they didn’t.”
Jess’ eyes widened. Becker’s sister had committed suicide? And in such a horrible way? Driving her car against a tree at full speed… Jess shivered.
“We never really got an answer why she did it,” Becker continued, staring at the newspaper article on Jess’ computer screen. “There was no farewell note, no explanation at all why she did it. She just let go of the steering wheel and hit the next tree.”
“I’m… so sorry,” was all Jess managed to whisper.
“It ripped our family apart,” he told her. “My dad never was the same again. I’m not even sure if it was the fact that she’d killed herself or the fact that he didn’t know why. He started drinking pretty soon afterwards. One day he hit me – I can’t even remember why – and the next day he was gone. I never saw him again.”
“Did you… never look for him?” Jess carefully asked.
Smiling wryly, Becker whispered, “I guess I never really wanted to know what became of him. Maybe I was afraid of the truth. This way, I could keep him in mind how he had been before April’s death broke him.”
She nodded, not knowing what to say to that.
“My mom died when I was sixteen, two years after April’s death,” he said. “The doctors said it was a heart attack, but my grandpa always said she died of a broken heart.”
Jess couldn’t stop the tear from rolling down her cheeks.
“I lived with him after that,” he whispered. “He’s the main reason I joined the army, because of all the stories he told me when I was a kid. I… always wanted him to be proud of me.”
“I’m sure he is,” Jess whispered.
“He died six years ago.”
Jess swallowed. “I’m still sure he’s proud of you,” she told him.
Finally taking his eyes off the screen, Becker looked at her. “I never told anyone about April.”
She nodded, and then got up and threw her arms around his neck. He just looked like he needed a hug. Or maybe she needed it.
Burying his face in her hair, he wrapped his arms around her middle, pulling her close against him and inhaling her scent. The warmth of her body, the soft skin of her cheek brushing against his and the welcoming embrace made him feel less alone. Maybe he hadn’t lost everything – or maybe he had at least found something new.
“Thank you,” he whispered into her ear. “I… I think I needed to get this off my chest.”
“Anytime,” she replied, not even thinking about letting go of him anytime soon, hoping he didn’t mind.
As a matter of fact, he didn’t have any intention of letting her go, either. He just wrapped his arms tighter around her and closed his eyes.