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: Once again, I’m sorry for not posting this earlier. Thank you for hanging in there with me, nonetheless.
I know that after Jess had woken up and everything looked fine, the story could also have been over. But I have another scene in my mind that still needs to be written. ;)
Hope you’ll enjoy the chapter.
“When did she wake up?” doctor Melrose asked.
Becker frowned at him. “I honestly don’t know. It was sometime in the middle of the night. At least, everyone was asleep. I didn’t know if I should have called you, and she was only awake for a few minutes.”
“Did she say anything?” the doctor wanted to know.
“She asked how long she had been here and…why her parents were here,” Becker told them.
Dr Melrose nodded a bit absentmindedly. “I’m afraid I have to ask you to leave the bed now,” he told Becker. “I have to run a few tests.”
Jess made a sound of complaint. “Is that really necessary?” she mumbled sleepily.
Smiling, Dr Melrose insisted, “I’m afraid so.”
Unwillingly, Jess gave up her comfortable position. Now that she was awake and on the road to recovery, they certainly wouldn’t allow Becker to hold her any longer. She couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever hold her again.
As long as she wasn’t completely healed, he would be sweet and caring and overprotective. But what would keep him from running once she was fine? She’d seen that happen before.
“It won’t take long,” Dr Melrose assured her as he made her sit down in a wheel chair. “We’ll do an MRI to make sure the bone wasn’t affected by the inflammation and then we’ll run a blood test to see how much the inflammation has gone back.”
Jess watched Becker getting off the bed and snapping to attention next to it. Her parents would certainly grill him about what had been going on – not only with him and Jess but also with her disappearance and magical reappearance – if they hadn’t already. She’d been unconscious for almost two days, after all.
As far as she knew Becker, he would either reply pretty monosyllabic or he wouldn’t reply at all. Somehow, she wished for the former.
“So, you and my daughter,” Jess heard her father ask and sighed inwardly. This wasn’t going to end well.
Not knowing what exactly Jess’ father expected him to say in return, Becker remained silent. It was the first time the older man talked to him at all since the day her parents had arrived. Becker had thought once her father started talking things would get better…
“I heard that…you were the one who brought her back from…wherever she was,” Jess’ father said.
“Yes, Sir,” Becker replied reluctantly.
“I also heard that this…mission wasn’t exactly authorised,” the older man said.
Becker straightened, but again didn’t reply.
“I take that as a yes,” Jess’ father mumbled. This was followed by a long silence, before Jess’ father finally said, “Thank you.”
Becker nodded briefly and then sighed with relief.
“Stop being such a grouch, Henry,” Jess’ mother scolded her husband. Then she smiled at Becker. “I’ve noticed that you hardly ate anything during the last few days, you must be starving. So how about we go grab some breakfast before Jess returns.”
“Thanks, Ma’am, but I’m not hungry,” Becker replied.
“But you have to eat something,” the older woman insisted. “Jess certainly wouldn’t like it if you ended up next to her in the hospital bed. Although…”
This remark only made him feel more uncomfortable to accept the invitation for breakfast. “I’d really rather stay here and wait for the results,” he told her.
“This may take a while,” Jess’ mother said with a shrug, already trying to drag him out of the medical bay. “Don’t tell me there’s nowhere to get a proper breakfast near this place.”
“Mrs Parker, I really…” he started.
She cut him off, friendly, but firmly, “It’s Elisabeth, and you’ll have breakfast with us now, young man.”
He sighed. “Yes, Ma’am.” Now he knew that Jess hadn’t lied when she’d told him her mother was the one wearing the trousers.
“So, how long have you been working for the ARC?” Elisabeth asked as they had sat down at a table in a nearby café.
“About five years,” Becker told her.
“And…how exactly did you end up…here?” she pressed him.
Becker frowned. It seemed like Jess had told her parents anything but the truth about the ARC. Okay, she couldn’t tell them that they were dealing with anomalies and dinosaurs and other creatures, but… What exactly had she told them?
“Well, Jess told us that her job was rather boring,” Elisabeth said with a shrug.
Only then did Becker notice that he’d actually said the question out loud.
“That’s…only partly true,” Becker replied.
“Yeah, after we got a call that she’d been missing in action, we kind of figured that much,” Henry grumbled.
Becker shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “You know, most of the time Jess is safe in her working place. But I wouldn’t call her job boring. She’s a field coordinator, the best this place ever had, and…well, basically her job is to push us around.”
“Us?” Elisabeth asked, raising her eyebrow at Becker.
He cleared his throat. “The soldiers,” he specified. “Jess tells us where to go and how to get there, what we will be dealing with when we arrive… Stuff like that.”
“But she stays inside the building?” This time, it was Henry posing the question.
“Most of the time, yes,” Becker affirmed. “But sometimes we need her out in the field, too.”
“Like you did that day she disappeared,” Elisabeth concluded.
Becker stiffened. “I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I can’t tell you anything about this mission, it’s classified. I can imagine you have a lot of questions, but I won’t be able to answer them.”
“That’s okay,” Elisabeth assured him with a smile. “We know that.”
Becker frowned. But still they’d certainly hope they were going to get some information out of their daughter’s boyfriend. God, how he hated to be in a position like this.
“And what about your family?” Elisabeth asked after breakfast. “Has Jess met them already?”
He sighed. He knew they would ask him about that eventually. “I don’t have any family,” he simply replied.
“Oh?” Elisabeth said with obvious surprise.
But he decided not to react to her unspoken question, and luckily, she decided to let it go.
“Maybe we should get back to the ARC and see if the doctors finished their tests,” Becker suggested and stood up without waiting for a reaction from Jess’ parents.
They followed him and a somewhat awkward silence spread between them. Normally, Becker wouldn’t have cared. He didn’t like talking. But he also wanted to leave a good first impression on Jess’ parents. He didn’t want them to think he was uncommunicative. Because he could be…communicative…if he really tried.
On the other hand, they knew that he had saved Jess’ life and that she felt safe with him. That had to mean something, too.
When they arrived at the medical bay, they found Jess lying in her bed again, but awake.
“Hey,” she greeted them, looking expectantly between Becker and her parents back and forth trying to reason something from their behaviour.
“Hey,” Becker replied, repressing the urge to greet her with a kiss. “What did the doctors say?”
“Well, my foot is just fine,” she announced. “Or at least it will be once the inflammation is completely healed. But, the bone isn’t infected and everything looks great. My WBCs are almost back to normal and I’ll probably be allowed to go home in a couple of days.”
“Make that a week,” Dr Melrose jumped in. “You’re still very weak, Miss Parker, and you shouldn’t overdo it.”
“I’m feeling fine,” she objected.
“Liar,” Becker simply said. One look in her still much too pale face and he could tell that she felt exhausted and still was in pain.
“Okay, my foot hurts a little and I’m a bit tired, but…apart from that, I’m completely fine,” she told them with a pout.
“It’s good to see you on the road to recovery,” Elisabeth said, pecking her daughter’s cheek. “But you heard the doctor. You don’t need to pretend you’re fine to sooth us.”
Becker had a feeling that this wasn’t the reason Jess pretended to be better than she actually was and made a mental note to talk to Dr Melrose about that later.
“Now get some rest,” Elisabeth told her daughter, pretty much forcing her to lie back down in her bed. “We’ll check on you in a few hours.”
Sighing, Jess did as she was told and crawled back under the blanket. She looked at Becker, trying to give him a smile.
He smiled back at her, as he was more or less dragged out of the room by her parents.
“And you should go home and get some rest, too, young man,” Elisabeth told Becker as they had left the medical bay. “By the way, you haven’t told us your first name, yet. I don’t even know how to address you.”
He straightened once more. He’d have known that they would ask about that, too, but somehow he’d hoped they wouldn’t offer him to call them by their first names and the question wouldn’t matter. “It’s just Becker, Ma’am,” he finally replied.
Henry frowned. “You mean you don’t have a first name? Everyone has a first name.”
“I forgot about mine,” he mumbled, before telling them that he had some important stuff to do and bowing out.
Only ten minutes later, he entered Jess’ room again, and wasn’t surprised to find her still wide awake.
“Hey,” he greeted, sitting down on the bed next to her. “You know, you really should get some rest.”
“How did it go with my parents?” she changed the topic.
Becker sighed. “Well, they…asked about my family and my first name.”
“I’m sorry,” Jess said, biting her lip. “I’d have told them not to if I’d known they were ever going to meet you.”
“It’s okay. I managed to…change the topic…kind of.” He probably shouldn’t tell her that he had just run from the question about his first name, pretty much ditching her parents.
“Well, as long as my mom still likes you, I’m sure that won’t be much of a problem,” she said with a shrug.
“And there I’m not so sure anymore,” he mumbled. Not that he would really care about that, but he knew that this was important to Jess – and she was important to him.
Jess raised an eyebrow at him. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” he replied with a sigh. “I really tried to…be nice and answer all their questions in more than one words, but…I don’t know.”
It hadn’t escaped her notice how he was opening up around her. And the fact that obviously he even wanted to try opening up around her parents, made her feel proud. She was important to him.
“Relax,” she told him. “Once my mum took a shine on you, it’s really hard to destroy that again. So I’m sure everything’s fine.”
“I hope you’re right,” he mumbled, and then reached out to softly stroke her hair.
“You saved my life, after all,” Jess added with a smile. “I bet they won’t forget about that.”
He gave her an insecure smile. She still looked incredibly pale and he knew she needed to sleep. “You know, your mom is right,” he softly told her. “You really should try and get some rest.”
“I know,” she replied with a sigh. “The thing is that…every time I close my eyes, I’m afraid I’ll wake up next to a dinosaur. I know it’s irrational, but I can’t get rid of this fear.”
“Move over,” he said with a grin, already lifting the blanket to crawl underneath. “I think I might have just the right medicine for that.” And he so didn’t need to be asked for it.
Sighing contentedly, Jess snuggled up close against him and immediately closed her eyes. “What if the doctors won’t let you stay here any longer?” she mumbled, already half asleep.
Wrapping his arms closer around her, Becker said, “Well, let them try to make me leave this bed. I’m armed, they’re not.”
She giggled, just seconds before drifting off into a deep and dreamless sleep.