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: This was a dream, it had to be. This wasn’t supposed to happen, not here, not to her, not like this. Yet, here she was, trapped in the Early Jurassic, surrounded by dinosaurs considering her as nothing but food.
Warnings: once again not beta-read
AN: Sorry this took me forever again. What can I say? Too much to do and too little time. :/ But at least I could finally make myself like the chapter.
When Abby returned, she wasn’t surprised to see Matt and Emily snuggled up against each other on the couch. She opened her mouth to comment the scene, but was interrupted by a knock on the door.
Matt and Emily quickly sat up on the couch, bringing a considerable distance between them.
Frowning, Abby covered Connor’s prototype with a towel from the kitchen before she opened the door. Her jaw dropped when she saw Connor and Lester standing in front of her.
Matt and Emily rose from their seats as well, staring at the two men outside the door.
“You know, some people might consider it impolite if they aren’t invited in,” Lester mumbled.
Abby stepped aside to let them in. “What the hell?” she mouthed at Connor.
The latter just shrugged, smiling impishly.
“Where is she?” Lester asked without ceremony.
Frowning at Abby and Emily, Matt asked, “Who?”
“Don’t try to take me for a ride,” Lester grumbled. “I know you didn’t gather here to play rummy. You reopened the anomaly to bring Jess back and I know Becker went through, so I hope for your jobs’ sake that they’re both here somewhere.”
“Sir, I honestly don’t…” Abby started.
Lester pulled the towel from Connor’s prototype, and then turned to raise an eyebrow at Abby. “And this is your new hair dryer, I suppose.”
Abby bit her lip.
“Where are they?” Lester repeated, his voice showing only the slightest hint of impatience. “And don’t tell me they’re both lost in the Early Jurassic now, because if they didn’t make it back through, you’ll all wish you’d gone after them.”
“They’re asleep,” Abby told him, pointing behind her towards Jess’ bedroom. “This way.”
“Abby, uh…” Emily started, but trailed off.
Abby smirked. “No, I’m pretty sure they are asleep,” she said with a slight giggle as she led Lester towards Jess’ bedroom.
She could have sworn she saw Lester stiffen before she opened the door – and relax right afterwards.
Becker was lying on his back, his arms wrapped protectively around Jess’ figure. Her head was resting on his chest, her hair freshly washed and her face was peaceful if a little pale. There were no signs of her having spent two entire weeks trapped on the wrong side of an anomaly.
Jess stirred a little in her sleep, frowning slightly, and Becker immediately wrapped his arms tighter around her. She nestled back to his side, and her face relaxed.
The corners of Lester’s mouth went up almost unnoticeably. He nodded, letting Abby close the door again.
“I expect all of you in my office tomorrow,” he told them once he was back in the living room. “Precisely at ei… at ten.”
Abby nodded, giving him a slight smile.
He turned to Connor, holding out his hand.
Fumbling in his pocket, Connor handed him the keys to the car. Lester had insisted they took his car. Much to Connor’s surprise, he’d let him drive – but it had certainly just been to make Connor feel more uncomfortable.
He’d always thought it would be fun driving a sports car. But it was horrible driving Lester’s sports car with him sitting in the passenger’s seat. Even though he hadn’t said a word – or maybe because of that.
“God, we’re so screwed,” Connor mumbled, letting out the breath he’d been holding since he had left the ARC with Lester, and running a hand over his face.
“Why did you have to tell him?” Matt grumbled.
“Hey, I didn’t tell him anything,” Connor pouted. “I swear he figured it out on his own. As a matter of fact, he did a pretty good job buying us some time and covering up for us.”
Matt snorted slightly, but he had to admit that sounded like Lester.
“You know, you can stay here,” Abby offered – basically to change the topic. “This is a convertible sofa, so…”
“Oh, uh… No, thanks,” Matt hurried to reply. “We’re… heading back home.”
Abby couldn’t help smirking. “So, you two have different plans for tonight, huh?” she teased.
“I don’t remember when this became your business,” he grumbled.
Abby mouthed “We’ll talk later!” to Emily as Matt dragged the latter out of the door.
“So… We did it,” Connor mumbled, taking a deep breath. “We brought her back.”
“Yeah,” Abby whispered, hugging him. “We did it.”
Connor was taken aback by her sudden emotiveness, but hugged her back nonetheless. “And Becker finally made his move, huh?” he whispered into her ear.
Abby giggled; something she hadn’t felt like doing since the day Jess had disappeared. “Let’s go to bed,” she whispered, and Connor could have sworn she wiped a tear from her eyes.
They didn’t sleep much that night. They mostly talked about the time they’d spent together in the Late Cretaceous, something they’d avoided talking about so far. They also made some plans to help Jess work up what had happened to her.
At about eight, they decided to make breakfast and then wake up Becker and Jess.
“You know, I have a feeling she’ll be fine,” Connor said as he set the table.
Smiling, Abby looked over her shoulder from making the pancakes. “Yeah, Becker will certainly make sure she will be,” she replied. “Would you wake them up?”
Connor bit his lip. “I’d rather take care of the pancakes,” he mumbled.
Shaking her head in amusement, Abby handed him the spatula. “Don’t let them burn,” she warned.
She tiptoed into the room and carefully touched Becker’s arm, waiting for him to open his eyes and look at her before whispering, “I’m afraid you have to get up. Lester wants to see us in his office at ten.”
He nodded, wiping his eyes with one hand and then looking at Jess’ figure next to him. She was still peacefully asleep, nestled against his chest.
Smiling, Abby bowed out to take care of the pancakes – knowing that Connor would burn them eventually.
Sighing, Becker let his hand run up and down Jess’ arm, whispering her name until she finally stirred. He hated to wake her up, knowing that she needed to rest and didn’t need to hear Lester rant about their solo effort.
She made a sound of complaint before opening her eyes and blinking at him.
“Good morning,” Becker whispered, softly pecking her lips.
“Morning,” Jess mumbled, snuggling back up against him. She didn’t feel like getting up.
He chuckled slightly, wrapping his arms tighter around her. “As much as I hate to say that, I’m afraid we have to get up. Lester wants to bite our heads off in about an hour.”
“I spent two weeks in the Early Jurassic,” she mumbled. “He doesn’t scare me one bit.”
“He’s not going to like that,” Becker replied. “Losing the only one his threats still had an effect on.”
“Not the only one,” Jess mumbled. “He still has Connor.”
Chuckling again, Becker kissed the top of her head. “Still I’m afraid we should get up. You have to go see the medics, anyway.”
“There’s no way of talking you out of that, is there?” Jess asked, absolutely unwilling to give up her comfortable position. She was just too tired to move.
“Of letting Lester bite our heads off? Well, I wouldn’t mind skipping that,” he replied, reluctantly breaking away from her embrace to get up. “Of making you see the medics, no, there’s no way of talking me out of it.”
Jess grumbled something about unfairness and slowly got up from the bed as well.
Becker frowned in concern as he watched her carefully put weight on her bad foot. “Does it still hurt?”
She nodded. “But I can bear it.”
He walked around the bed to offer support, but she pushed him away.
“It’s okay,” Jess assured him. “You’ve been carrying me around enough already. I can walk on my own.”
“Then at least put your arm around me so you don’t have to use your foot,” he insisted.
Sighing, Jess gave in. She wasn’t too fond of putting weight on her foot, anyway.
When she stood under the shower this morning, she suddenly realised how used she was to the luxury of her time. She’d missed her warm, comfortable bed. She’d missed taking a shower or a bath whenever she felt like it. And God had she missed pancakes for breakfast!
Smiling contentedly, she inhaled the sweet scent of the homemade pancakes before pouring syrup over them.
Becker frowned at her, while she picked at the pancakes. “Aren’t you hungry?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.
“I know I should be,” she replied. “But I guess I spent too much time living on a minimum of food. Don’t worry, I’ll be a good girl and have a proper breakfast.”
Becker considered replying something, but remained silent. He shouldn’t worry too much.
The drive to the ARC was relatively silent. Jess was hoping her friends wouldn’t get fired because they’d saved her. But she didn’t have any idea how to make Lester believe no one had disobeyed his orders. That it had just been a lucky coincidence that she was back.
There was no way. Lester knew the truth – and they were all screwed.
Her heart was pounding like mad when they all stood in front of Lester’s desk about half an hour later. She felt like she’d been called to the headmaster. So much for Lester not scaring her anymore.
As usual, his face didn’t show the slightest emotion as he summed up what had happened the day before. “So,” he started, looking at everyone in front of his desk and folding his hands. “You disobeyed a direct order, opened an anomaly in an apartment and you went through.”
Becker straightened when Lester looked daggers at him, but didn’t say a word.
“Sir, I…” Jess tried.
Lester stared at her for a second, before snapping, “You remain silent, young lady.”
For a moment it was dead silent in Lester’s office. His six inferiors were holding their breaths waiting for him to fire them or yell at them – or whatever else he had in mind as a punishment.
Finally, Lester sighed. “I want to have your reports on my desk at eight tomorrow morning.”
Looking puzzled at the others and back at Lester, Becker raised an eyebrow. “Sir?”
“You,” Lester said, looking at Emily, “drove to Miss Parker’s apartment to investigate the anomaly alert. While searching the area, you discovered an anomaly in a side alley.”
Lester turned to look at Becker. “You were there for whatever reason, be creative. While you prepared to lock the anomaly luckily you,” he looked at Jess, “came through followed by a raptor that attacked you. You all sent the raptor back to its own time and locked the anomaly. Happy ending.”
Everyone looked at each other again, not daring to say anything or leave the room.
Sighing once more, Lester said, “I know, I should fire all of you. But do you have any idea how hard it is to replace your team? Not to mention that I would have to explain to the minister why I can’t keep my people under control.”
The corners of Matt’s mouth went upwards just slightly. He’d known Lester wouldn’t fire all of them.
“If something like that ever happens again, though, I’m personally going to throw you through the next best anomaly no matter where it leads to,” Lester added. “You’re dismissed.”
They all turned to leave, but Lester held Jess back. “Miss Parker, I’d like to talk to you in private for a second.”
Swallowing, Jess turned back around to look at Lester.
“None of this was her fault,” Becker hurried to defend her. “There’s no reason to…”
“Which part of ‘in private’ didn’t you get, Captain Becker,” Lester harshly interrupted him. “Now, leave us alone, please.”
He opened his mouth to object, but when Jess softly nodded at him, he reluctantly left Lester’s office.
Examining Jess for a few moments, Lester finally got up from his chair and walked around his desk. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.
Jess frowned at him. “I understand,” she quietly replied. “Your hands were tied.”
“That was… not what I meant,” Lester told her. “I… underestimated you. I thought you were… Well, you’re not exactly trained for surviving in a prehistoric era.”
“I know,” Jess replied. “And believe me I’m as surprised as you are. I understand that you thought I was dead.”
The corners of his mouth went upwards just slightly, and for a moment an uncomfortable silence filled the room, before Lester finally said, “So, I heard you have an appointment at the medical bay.”
“Yeah, I just… have to get my ankle checked,” she replied coyly.
Lester nodded, and remained silent again, before he finally mumbled, “I’m glad they brought you back. This place isn’t the same without you.”
Jess opened her mouth, but closed it again. For the first time in her life, she really was speechless.
“I mean, you have no idea how hard it is to find a proper replacement for you,” Lester added.
Jess couldn’t help but grin at that. She wanted to reply something witty, but couldn’t quite come up with anything. She suddenly felt too dizzy to think straight.
Frowning, Lester asked, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I just… need to… sit down,” she managed to get out, before everything around her went black.
Lost in time 11 - Busted