Title: Taking the risk
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 “Becker gets seriously injured in the line of duty, and Jess gets her first real taste of what it really means to be in a relationship with a soldier. What? Don't look at me like that! I *like* angst! *evil grin*” by deinonychus_1.
Warnings: not beta-read
Author notes: Yay, angst! Do you really think I’d even try to resist? ;)
When he woke up, he was surprised to find Abby next to his bed and not the woman he’d expected and wanted to see.
“Hey,” she greeted. “We were honestly starting to worry you’d never wake up again.”
Looking around, Becker tried to sit up in his bed. But the pondering in his head told him it was a bad idea. “Where is she?” he croaked.
Abby sighed. “You almost got yourself killed because you couldn’t wait for backup,” she said. “And Jess watched you nearly being crushed by a Stegosaurus.”
He ran a hand over his head. “She’s mad at me,” he mumbled.
“No, Becker,” Abby softly objected. “She realised what it means to be in a relationship with a soldier like you, someone who’s willing to take any risk without worrying about the consequences. She just can’t handle the constant fear of losing you.”
He looked at Abby, not really understanding what she was trying to tell him – or maybe he just didn’t want to understand.
“Just talk to her once you’re out of here,” she advised. “But don’t expect her to be here. I’m rather sure the sight of you in this hospital bed would be too much for her to take after having feared to lose you for almost two weeks.”
Two weeks? He’d been unconscious for two weeks? Damn, the past days must have been hell for Jess.
It took another five days before he was finally allowed to leave the medical bay. Five days, and she hadn’t come to look for him once. She was really mad at him.
When he limped into the ADD, he was surprised not to find her there.
He had to threaten Connor to take him to her apartment.
Half an hour later, he knocked at her door. She didn’t answer.
“Come on, Jess,” he called out, knocking again. “Open the door, please! I… I need to talk to you.” Again there was nothing. “I’m not going to go away,” he told her. “I’ll just stay here and wait until you eventually have to come out. You can’t stay in there forever.”
The door opened and she let him in, immediately turning away from him. She didn’t say a word, but he was sure she’d been crying – again.
“Jess, I’m sorry,” he quietly told her. “I really am. I never wanted you to have to watch something like that.”
She turned to him, her eyes red and puffy. “This is not about me having to watch you almost get yourself killed,” she said bitterly.
“I know,” he assured her with a sigh. “I know it was stupid to go in without waiting for backup. I promise, it won’t happen again.”
She looked at him, and something inside of her wanted to believe him. But she knew he couldn’t change who he was. “Don’t promise what you can’t keep,” she whispered.
“I can,” he insisted. “And I will. I promise I’ll be more careful in the future.”
Jess took a deep breath. “I just can’t handle this,” she whispered. “I can handle the fact that our jobs are dangerous. But I can’t handle it if you keep putting yourself in danger like that. I don’t want to sit at the ADD having to fear that I’ll have to watch you die because you couldn’t wait for backup. I can’t stand the feeling of you being hurt and me not being able to do anything about it.”
“I’m sorry,” he repeated. “But I swear it won’t happen again.”
Closing her eyes for a moment, Jess tried to fight back new tears. She just wanted to throw herself into his arms and cry with relief that he was alive. But she knew that if she did, he would just go on like that hoping it would always end well.
“I swear,” he insisted, taking a step closer to her. “I don’t want to lose you, Jess. I wasn’t thinking about you when I went in there. I’m not used to having to worry about someone else but me. But I swear, I can change, I will change for you – for us.”
She shook her head. “You can say that now, but what if you get to the sight of an anomaly next time? Do you really believe you’ll be able to wait for backup?”
Grabbing her shoulders, he made her look at him again. “Yes,” he simply said.
She wasn’t able to hold back the tears any longer. Stumbling forwards, she wrapped her arms around his middle and buried her face in his chest. “Don’t ever do this to me again,” she sobbed. “I’m not going to survive this one more time.”
Kissing the top of her head, he promised again that he would be more careful in the future.
His promise wasn’t hard to keep as long as he wasn’t fully fit. But only two months later his determination had to face an acid test.
When he arrived at the scene, there was no sight of the backup team. He remained sitting in his car, impatiently drumming his fingers on the steering wheel.
“The anomaly’s in the basement,” he heard Jess’ voice say over the comm. “So far I can see five raptors in the corridors. I’m not sure there aren’t more, though, there are some rooms without CCTV.”
“Where’s the backup team?” Becker wanted to know.
“We’ll be there in a minute,” he heard Robbins say over the comm.
Drumming his fingers on the wheel again, he thought about Jess’ face after he’d been hurt by the Stegosaurus. There was no way he would do this to her again, no matter how much he wanted to go in and take care of the raptors.
A Stegosaurus at least wouldn’t try to eat him.
He had watched Sarah being mauled by future predators. He wouldn’t do this to Jess. He wouldn’t make her have to watch how he was killed by raptors.
Maybe it would end well, as it usually did. But maybe it wouldn’t. The risk was too high – and for the first time he wasn’t willing to take it. Because this time, if he went in there without backup, he wasn’t only risking his life, he was risking his relationship with Jess.
The team arrived about a minute later. They went in together, not splitting up, because they knew how the raptors hunted their prey. If any of them had to face them alone not even the best trained soldiers would have a chance.
It wasn’t easy to make the raptors go back through the anomaly. They had to kill two of them. After one and a half hour, the anomaly was locked and they were heading back home – except for the two unlucky soldiers who had drawn the shortest straws.
When he walked into the ADD, he was rewarded by a slim figure throwing herself into his arms and a soft, lingering kiss.
He smiled down at her. If this was the reward, it wouldn’t be a problem for him to wait for backup next time.