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: So, it looks like I’m getting better, doesn’t it?
I told you about this job I hate, right? It made me sick, so I had some time to write, which was a good thing. Even better – as it turned out today – was the fact that my sickness got me fired. Because for the time being (meaning the next six months so far) I can go back to my old job. I loved the school, I loved the colleagues and I loved the pupils there. So that really is the best that could happen to me. Thanks to everyone who kept their fingers crossed for me. It was totally worth it.
For the first time since sometime last year I’m really happy about something. :)
And now enjoy the chapter. It’s some fluff, and there’s certainly more to come, because I’m totally in the mood.
“Today?” Becker asked once more, frowning at her.
Jess sighed. “Yes, and I’m completely fine. Ask the doctors. My foot is just fine and so am I. Besides, I’m tired of the medical bay.”
“I understand,” he told her, his face still full of concern. “But they also said you’re not allowed to put pressure on your foot yet, and if you go home, you’ll certainly…”
“Relax,” she softly interrupted him. “My parents are gonna stay with me for the time being.” She sighed again. She’d much rather had a certain army captain around to take care of her.
“Okay, but…” He sighed, eying her bandaged foot and the wheelchair. “Are you really sure about this? Your place is not even accessible for wheelchairs, is it?”
“I’ll be fine,” she assured him once more. “I can use crutches. Besides, I really doubt my dad’s gonna let me walk around much, anyway. He can be rather overprotective, you know.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed,” Becker mumbled. Quite frankly, he felt like acting overprotective himself at the moment. He knew Jess, and he knew she wouldn’t listen to what any doctors told her.
“Apparently, he’s not the only one,” Jess added with a smirk.
“You know, I…I think I might…stay with you as well,” he suddenly offered.
Jess’ eyes almost popped out of her head. “You mean like…taking a few days off?”
He just nodded.
“Becker, the last time you took some days off was when you were bitten by that…creature,” Jess couldn’t stop the shiver from running down her spine as she remembered the images she’d have to watch that day.
“I know,” he mumbled. “But I…I thought you might need me… You know?”
“Would you finally stop worrying, please?” Jess begged him, sighing with frustration.
Mumbling something that was faintly reminiscent of the words “I’m sorry” Becker ran a hand over his face. Then he finally stopped pacing the room and sat down next to Jess on the bed.
“When you had disappeared through the anomaly, I really thought I’d lost you forever,” he told her, his voice barely above a whisper. “And after we managed to bring you back, I almost lost you again and I…just can’t help worrying about you.”
Smiling, Jess tilted her head a little and whispered, “Maybe I just have to remind you that I’m still here and fine.”
Smirking, Becker leaned in for a soft, lingering kiss. It might not really help him not to worry about Jess anymore, but it was definitely the best way to remind him that she was safe.
Someone clearing their throat made them jump apart. But Becker didn’t even think about getting up from the bed.
“Are you ready to leave?” Henry asked in a stern voice.
“Sure,” Jess told him with a nod. Her heart started beating faster. There certainly was no way her father would approve of Becker staying with her. Were they going to fight? Hopefully not.
“Well, then, let’s go,” Henry said, pushing the wheelchair closer to the bed.
“We won’t need that thing,” Becker announced, lifting Jess up.
“Wh…What?” she stuttered.
“Your place is not accessible for wheelchairs,” he stated without paying attention to the death glare he got from her father. “And I know you well enough to be sure you won’t use the crutches for long. I just want to make sure you follow the doctor’s orders.”
Grinning, Jess wrapped her arms around Becker’s neck. Her father so wasn’t going to like that. But if Becker didn’t care, she wouldn’t, either.
Jess’ father snorted.
“Oh, come on, Henry,” Elisabeth scolded him. “He’s willing to stay with her and take care of her even though we’re going to be around as well. Would you have done the same?”
“With your parents?” Henry grimaced.
“See, that’s what I mean,” she told him, watching how Becker carried her daughter along the corridor. “When was the last time you met a man who treated your daughter like this? Whether you like it or not, she’s grown up – and she has a boyfriend who loves her and who would obviously do anything for her. What more can you ask for?”
Henry grumbled something not understandable.
Elisabeth shook her head and sighed. “Just do me a favour and try not to scare him away, will you?”
“How about I just ignore him?” he suggested with a frown.
Sighing again, Elisabeth followed Becker and Jess to their car. Her husband was incorrigibly stubborn. But maybe he would at least leave Becker alone.
Jess had known it wouldn’t be easy. So far, her father had managed to scare away every boy in her life who had ever shown the least interest in her – not that there had been many she’d brought home. As a matter of fact, there hadn’t been that many at all.
Luckily, Becker wasn’t just some other boy. And even though he barely said a word that evening, he managed to make very clear that he wouldn’t back off.
Jess’ heart skipped a beat every time her father made a comment and every time Becker straightened. But nothing happened. Becker obviously wasn’t willing to let Henry bring him out of his shell.
She couldn’t help but wonder who would win concerning the question where Becker spent the night. Alas, he was too much of a gentleman to even bring up the matter. When Henry handed him the beddings to “get comfortable on the couch”, Becker only mumbled a thanks.
And suddenly it occurred to Jess that Becker was doing all this for her. He didn’t want to put up a fight with her father, because he didn’t want her to have to side with one of them.
Nonetheless, she’d rather fought with her father if it had meant that Becker was allowed to hold her again. But at least he brought her to bed.
“Good night,” she whispered, smiling at him. “I’ll be fine.”
He frowned at her, concern written all over his face. Then he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “Good night,” he replied, and then headed for the door. He turned back to her before leaving the room. “Call me, if you need anything,” he told her and then bowed out.
Of course, he couldn’t sleep. Not that he thought it was possible that a new anomaly opened right next to Jess’ bed and she was attacked by something. She was safe and he knew that.
But he missed her. He missed the feeling of her snuggled up close against him. He missed her sweet scent being the last thing he smelled before he fell asleep and the first thing when he woke up.
Becker had just decided that he could as well watch some TV instead of just lying awake on the couch when he heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from Jess’ bedroom.
In no time at all he had jumped over the backrest of the couch, headed for Jess’ room and ripped the door open.
She was sitting upright in her bed, bathed in sweat, mere panic written all over her face.
Without hesitation, Becker hurried over to her and caught her in his arms. “It’s okay,” he whispered.
“I know,” Jess replied with a nod and, as if to sooth herself, added, “It was just a bad dream.”
“You’re safe, sweetness,” Becker replied, gently stroking her back.
It escaped Jess’ notice that it was the first time Becker called her by a nickname. What didn’t escape her notice was the fact that he didn’t even seem to consider letting go of her.
“Are you alright?” Henry’s voice startled them.
Reluctantly, Jess let go of Becker and turned to her father. “Yeah,” she assured him. “It was just a bad dream, that’s all.”
Becker frowned at her in concern, seemingly considering his options. Finally, he lifted the blanket to crawl underneath.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Henry burst out.
Becker took a deep breath to keep his voice calm before turning to Jess’ father. “Look. I’m not gonna do anything your daughter doesn’t want. But I know that Jess won’t find any sleep tonight due to the nightmares and I also know that my presence will help her. So there’s no way you’re gonna make me leave her alone. She’s grown up. You should get used to it.”
Henry opened his mouth, but was interrupted by his wife’s hand on his arm. “Come on, let’s go back to bed,” Elisabeth told him. When she noticed he wanted to object, she quickly added, “He’s right and you know that.”
Henry snorted and left while Elisabeth closed the door.
Sighing with relief, Becker crawled under the blanket and finally caught Jess in his arms.
“You know, this was the first time anyone ever stood up against my dad,” she whispered.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “I didn’t mean to…”
“No,” Jess quickly interrupted him, raising her head so she was looking at him. “I…I wanted to thank you. For everything. For trying to get along with my dad even though he was giving you such a hard time – and for standing up against him when you knew I needed you.”
“He’s not gonna scare me away,” Becker assured her. “I fight dinosaurs for a living. What could he possibly do to scare me, anyway?”
She couldn’t help but giggle as she snuggled up against him again. “I always knew it was a good idea to fall in love with a soldier.”
This was followed by a long and somewhat awkward silence and Jess already feared she might have said something wrong, when Becker suddenly whispered, “Can I ask you something?”
“Of course,” she told him, refusing to raise her head to look at him again. “Whatever you want to know.”
“Why…” he started, his voice barely above a whisper. “Why did you…fall in love with me of all people?”
Her head shot up and she stared at him. “You’re not implying you think you’re not worth falling in love with, are you?”
“I just…wondered how… I don’t know…” he stuttered. “Never mind.”
She smiled warmly at him. “There are a lot of things I love about you,” she told him. “You’re not only hot, but also sweet and caring, even though most of the time you do your best to hide that fact. I love how I always feel safe when you’re around. I love the way you smile at me sometimes, because it always makes my skin tingle. Shall I go on?”
“You mean there’s more?” he asked, smirking at her.
“You can be really funny if you allow someone to get behind the wall you built up around you,” she continued. “And you’re not afraid of anything. I always venerated that. You’re a hero, even though you’d never call yourself that because you’re too humble.”
“Wow,” he said, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “I had no idea I was such a stunner.”
“Well, you are,” she mumbled, trying not to blush. “At least you are for me. So consider it pathetic, but I’ve been at your feet from the moment I’ve first met you and…no matter how hard I tried to resist, you made me fall more for you every single day.”
Grinning, he leaned in to capture her lips with his, but stopped inches before their lips met. “I hope I’m not a terrible kisser,” he whispered.
“No, you’re a great kisser,” she assured him. “Another fact I love about you.”
“Good,” he said with a smirk and closed the distance between them.
“Can I ask you something?” Jess asked voicelessly, after they’d broken the soft kiss.
“If…” she looked down to avoid his eyes. “If I’d never disappeared through the anomaly and if I hadn’t…told you how I felt…would any of this have happened?”
Becker frowned at her. “You think I would never have made a move on you if it hadn’t been for you being trapped in the Early Jurassic?” He couldn’t even blame her for that. It wasn’t like he’d exactly wooed her at any time.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” he replied truthfully. “I don’t know if I’d ever dared making a move on you. I’m not really good at…this. I mean, I really didn’t know how to approach you or if it was a good idea.”
“What…do you mean?” she asked reluctantly.
“Well, I…I’ve lost so many people in my life, that at one point I’ve decided not to let anyone in,” he admitted. “When I started working at the ARC, I soon realized this didn’t work. People managed to get behind the…walls as you called it.
“I was hired to protect those people. And then first Cutter died, then Abby, Connor and Danny got trapped on the wrong side of an anomaly and then…I had to watch Sarah die. I…had failed. I hadn’t been able to protect them. So I decided that with this job, it was better not to get too involved with the people I worked with.”
“You didn’t want to go through that again,” she whispered, nodding understandingly.
“Yeah,” he affirmed. “But…from the day we met I knew it would be hard with you. You were so…sweet and open and light-hearted. It was good to have someone around who…brought some light into this place – and I’m not only talking about your bright clothes.”
“I…never thought this was the way you saw me,” she replied with a timid smile. “I mean…I never had the impression you even…cared much about me.”
“I do,” he objected. “And that…scared me, even after Abby and Connor were back and I knew Danny was safe – at least as much as he could be. It’s not true that there’s nothing I’m afraid of. Every day I’m afraid I might lose another person I care about. That was why I didn’t want to admit that I cared about you. I was too afraid to lose you.”
“Like you lost Sarah?” she asked in a whisper.
Becker nodded. “It wasn’t like we were actually dating, but…yeah, I cared a lot about her. And when I noticed that I started caring about you the same way, I…thought it would be best to back off. Not only because I didn’t want to go through that again, but also because I thought you…deserved better.”
She looked at him and frowned. “Have you ever considered that I might be willing to try and help you get over all the pain you’ve been through?”
“No,” he admitted reluctantly. “I’ve…never looked at it from that perspective.”
“You’re always there to protect me,” she whispered, leaning down to give him another soft kiss. “I might not be able to protect you the same way, but I’m definitely able and willing to chase away your nightmares whenever you need me to.”
He smiled at her, leaning in to kiss her again. “After you disappeared, I realized that it doesn’t help to push you away. All I could think about was that I never got a chance to tell you how I really felt about you, that I never got a chance to find out if your skin is as soft as it looks. Pushing you away didn’t do any good except for keeping me from enjoying the time we might have.”
“Somehow, even with our jobs, I still hope this is going to be a long time,” she told him.
Becker smirked. “Yeah, me too. Now try and go back to sleep. You look exhausted.”
Willingly, she snuggled up close against him, laying her head onto his chest, and closed her eyes. “Thank you,” she mumbled.
“For what?” he wanted to know.
“For being so honest with me,” she whispered. “For opening up.”
“You made it easy for me, sweetness,” he replied, kissing the top of her head.
This time, she noticed the nickname. Her head shot up again and she stared at him.
“What?” he asked a little insecurely.
“You…never called me by a nickname before,” she stated.
“I…sorry…” he stuttered. “Um…Do you mind?”
Grinning, she shook her head no. “Does that mean I’m allowed to come up with a nickname for you, too?”
“Um…Sure,” he replied. But the look on her face before she placed her head back onto his chest made him question whether this was a wise decision.