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: Well, it still is 2014. So, I at least managed one other update this year. It’s still kinda hard to kick myself every day into doing something other than lay on the couch and watch TV. But I’m getting better, I guess. I really don’t want to end up developing a real depression. It just sucks being asked how you are and burst into tears almost every time – or simply yell at people for no apparent reason. And I really don’t like having all my co-workers worried there might be something wrong with me. It’s nice that they notice, but it also sucks that they do, you know?
Anyway, I don’t want to babble about the current mood I’m in. I’d much rather let you enjoy the final chapter of this little piece. Since it looks like we don’t get to see a sixth season, maybe I can come up with something suitable in the not too distant future. My mind is working on it. ;) Now enjoy! And Merry Christmas!
I edited this chapter because SashaTweet was attentive and noticed that Becker’s parents died in two different ways in this story, which didn’t make any sense. Thank you for pointing it out to me!
“Are you still sure?” Becker asked with a smile as he watched Jess examine the living room.
“Yes,” Jess replied with a contented sigh. “It’s perfect.”
Grinning, he walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her. “Good,” he whispered, before capturing her lips with his.
Jess melted into his arms, wrapping hers around his neck. “Wow,” she whispered, when they had to break the kiss for air.
“Save that for after you tried the lasagne I made,” he said with a grin.
Jess raised her eyebrows. “You cooked?”
Becker grimaced at her. “What? You still think I can’t?”
“Nope, I realized that you are a man with a lot of secrets,” she replied coquettishly. “I was just wondering to what I owe the favour.”
“This is the first night in our new home,” he told her. “I just wanted to make it perfect.”
“You’re here,” she said, grinning. “So it already is perfect.”
He just grinned back at her. “Wait till I took you to the bedroom.”
She purred as she sashayed closer to him. “Sounds promising.”
“But still, that’s for later,” Becker told her. “First we’re gonna eat.”
Pouting, Jess asked, “Why can’t we eat later?”
Becker chuckled. “That is another surprise.” He glanced at his watch and just at this moment, the doorbell rang. “Right on time,” he commented, before opening.
Jess was surprised to see a grinning Abby and Connor standing in front of the door, handing Becker a bottle of wine.
Just as Becker was about to close the door, he saw Matt and Emily coming up the driveway. “Don’t tell me you didn’t find a parking spot,” Becker teased as he let them in.
“We just didn’t find our way out here,” Matt shot back. “I mean, really, I never pictured you to be the rural kind of guy.”
Becker just shrugged. “Jess likes the place, so I like it.”
“I like it, too,” Emily commented, before Matt could say anything in return.
“Not that I’m not glad to see you.” Jess greeted her friends as they entered their living room. “But what are you all doing here?”
“Becker invited us over for a little house-warming,” Connor explained.
“Just because I knew you’d be curious and come over anyway,” he commented with a smirk. “Now come on, dinner’s getting cold.”
“Don’t tell me you cooked,” Matt mumbled, grimacing.
Abby just grinned. “Look who’s becoming betty of the year.”
“Hey, if you’d rather leave before dinner, just say so, I’ll show you the door,” Becker said with a grumble.
“And miss your famous cooking skills you bragged about, no way,” Abby told him with a chuckle.
Becker just rolled his eyes. He had known inviting them over had been a bad idea since they wouldn’t stop teasing him about his “new life as a future husband” – as Abby put it. But he had also known how happy it would make Jess to have them all here and celebrate their first night in their new home. And hell, yeah, he would do anything for her.
“I love you,” Jess whispered as if she’d just read his thoughts.
Looking down at her smiling face, he knew it was worth it. No matter how much Matt was going to tease him today, he just wouldn’t listen. Jess was happy and so was he – nothing else was important.
Smiling himself, Becker lent down to reward Jess’ statement with a soft kiss.
“Hey, turtle doves,” Matt called out, interrupting them. “If you keep making out like that, we’re never gonna make it to the main cause.”
“Jealous?” Jess asked, wrapping one arm around Becker’s hip as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder.
Matt grimaced once more. “I wouldn’t know of what.”
Connor and Abby just grinned at each other.
After Jess’ comment, Matt backed off a little, biting back any comments about Jess and Becker being obviously happy. On the contrary, he even admitted that he liked what Jess had made of the yard.
Becker had to admit that the evening turned out to be a whole lot of fun.
That was until Abby suggested a game of “Truth or Dare”. That was it. The evening was ruined – and he was screwed.
“Okay, who’s first?” Abby asked.
“Seriously?” Becker growled.
Matt grinned at him. “Come on, that could be fun.”
“Oh, really,” Becker grumbled. “I honestly don’t want to know what you’ll come up with for dare.”
“I’d say since Connor suggested this game, he should go first,” Jess announced, grinning at him. “So, Connor, truth or dare?”
“Truth,” he replied with a grin.
“Okay, then,” Jess said, giving him a devious grin, “what was the most embarrassing moment in your relationship with Abby?”
He cleared his throat, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. “Well, um…it was certainly the moment I first told her that I loved her – or, well, the moment after that, actually. I…I mean, I had no idea if the feeling was mutual and it was one of this ‘let me die’-‘oh, no, I can’t because I love you’-moments… Anyway, after that I simply didn’t know how to…you know, treat her and that was kinda awkward.”
“I think it was cute,” Abby assured him. “Even though it made me wonder if you had really been serious that day.”
“Well, you don’t have to wonder about that anymore I guess,” Matt said, winking at both of them.
“Okay, my turn,” Connor announced. “I’ll ask…Matt, truth or dare?”
“Dare,” he said.
“How surprising,” Emily mumbled, receiving a death glare from Matt.
“Okay, then, dare it is,” Connor said, grinning from ear to ear. “I dare you to…kiss Emily.”
Emily and Abby choked on their drinks. Jess giggled.
“What?” Matt asked, crossing his hands in front of his chest. “You think I won’t do it?” He snorted, rose from his chair, walked over to Emily, pulled her to her feet and kissed her, drawing first a sound of surprise then one of pleasure from her lips.
Connor’s jaw dropped.
“Well, it was about time you two finally admitted being an item,” Jess said with a giggle.
“Okay, giggly girl, I pick you. Truth or dare?” Matt asked.
“Dare,” Jess replied, much to Matt’s surprise.
“Okay,” he grinned. “I dare you to…dismantle my weapon.” He took the small revolver he kept holstered at his ankle and handed it to her.
Jess raised an eyebrow at him and then, in no time at all, dismantled the small handgun, leaving Matt stunned.
“She learns quickly,” Becker told him with a shrug.
“That much is obvious,” Matt mumbled, watching Jess putting the pieces of his revolver back together.
“Okay, I’ll pick Abby,” Jess announced with a grin. “Truth or dare?”
“Dare,” she said.
Jess frowned. “Well, I…I dare you to…” Grinning, she handed her friend her phone. “Hack my phone.”
“Seriously?” Abby raised her eyebrow at Jess, but took the phone nonetheless. “You know, you’re not the only one who learned from her boyfriend,” she said, handing the phone back to Jess. “Nice picture.”
Jess flushed seeing her background picture showing herself and Becker kissing.
“All right, Emily,” Abby said with a smile. “Truth or dare?”
“Truth,” she replied.
“Do you sometimes wish to be back in your time?”
Looking at Matt, she smiled. “Never.”
“Aw,” Abby sighed. “That’s sweet.”
“Shut up,” Matt told her. “It’s your turn, Emily.”
“Well, you’re the only one who’s left,” she told Becker. “Truth or dare?”
“Truth,” he said, fearing his dare would be to hack into the ARC’s computer system or something. He sure as hell wasn’t able to do that.
“All right,” she thought about it for a moment, before asking. “Well, we know that you met Jess’ family. I wonder if she did or will meet yours, too.”
Much to everyone’s surprise, Becker jumped up from his seat and stormed out of the room mumbling something about this game being stupid.
“What’s wrong?” Emily asked, perplexed, wondering how such a simple question could drive Becker up the wall.
“He…I…” Jess mumbled, before getting up as well. “Excuse me.”
“I’m sorry,” Becker told her when she joined him in their bedroom. “I…didn’t want to spoil the evening. It’s just…I…”
“It’s okay,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around his middle. She knew him well enough not to ask what was going on. He would tell her when he was ready. “Come back to the living room with me, please.”
He sighed, but didn’t refuse right away.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the situation,” she assured him.
Unwillingly, Becker followed her back into the living room where everyone looked at him. But much to Becker’s surprise, none of them looked angry. They all looked rather worried.
“Okay, what about a game of UNO?” Connor suggested.
“Sounds like fun,” Becker said with a smile, sitting back down on the couch next to Jess.
“Oh, yeah, that’s my favourite game,” Jess announced, grinning, as she got the cards out of one of the drawers.
“That’s probably because you always win, right?” Abby teased.
“Well, most of the time,” Jess replied with a smirk.
Becker sighed with relief. He was sure none of them could understand his reaction. But none of them was mad at him and none of them asked about it. They all respected that Emily’s question had hit a nerve and that he didn’t want to talk about it.
They deserved better.
After Jess had beaten them twice, the others gave up on challenging her again and decided that it was time to while away the evening with the bottle of wine Abby and Connor had brought along.
All of them noticed that Becker had fallen silent again, wrongly assuming that he might want them to leave.
“You know why I joined the army?” Becker asked all of a sudden, leaving his friends stunned. They had to admit they didn’t. And they couldn’t. He’d never told them.
“My father was a soldier, and pretty proud of it,” he explained. “My grandfather was a pacifist, though. He didn’t believe in guns. After my mother had died, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents whenever my dad was out of the country.
“One night when I was nine my grandparents’ home was mugged by some guy who probably wanted money for drugs. He was unarmed, at least that’s what the police assumed later.
“I heard my grandpa argue with the guy and the tone of his voice told me that something was wrong. I was scared, so I hid under my bed.
“The police later assumed that my grandfather tried to talk the guy out of mugging us. But he was in no shape to argue with. When my grandparents refused to give him what he wanted, he took a knife from our kitchen.
“I heard my grandma scream and then there was silence. When I finally dared coming out of my hiding place, the police had already arrived. Some neighbours had called them when they heard my grandmother scream, but it was too late for my grandparents. They both died that night. And my father died in Afghanistan six years ago, so…I don’t have any family to introduce to Jess.”
This was followed by a long silence. None of them dared saying anything. None of them really knew what to say, anyway.
“My dad quit the army for a while to raise me, but I knew he wasn’t happy. Like I said he’d been a soldier his whole life long and he had a pretty big collection of guns at his place. Whenever I looked at them I couldn’t help thinking that…if my grandparents had had a single gun in their home, maybe they’d both still be alive. So I decided that I wanted to be able to protect myself and my family. That’s why I’m so fond of guns, you know. I’m still sure they could have saved my grandparents’ lives.”
“My dad had a gun,” Connor said. “When he was mugged on the street, he tried to use it. But the guy was stronger, got a hold of the weapon and shot my dad.”
Becker blinked at him.
“I’m just saying,” Connor explained. “There’s no way of knowing that a gun could have saved your grandparents’ lives – not if the attacker was desperate enough, anyway.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right about that,” Jess whispered. “Yet, I feel a lot safer when Becker and his gun are around.”
“I’m sorry,” Becker said. “For…reacting the way I did earlier. It’s just that…being asked about my family is kind of a soft spot.”
He turned to Jess, adding, “I’m sorry I can’t introduce you to any member of my family, especially my parents. They would have loved you.”
“I would have loved to meet them,” Jess whispered. One day she would convince him to put a picture of them next to the picture of her parents.
Matt decided that this was the moment to leave Becker and Jess alone, so he bowed out, ushering the others out of the house as well.
“Thank you,” Jess whispered when they were alone, “for sharing this.”
“You all were so understanding, I just…thought you deserved better than me shutting you out again,” he replied.
“You know, you don’t have to…talk about things you don’t want to talk about,” Jess told him. “Well, not for me, I mean. I love you the way you are and I…don’t want you to change for me, you know.”
He took her hand in his, gently stroking the back of it with his thumb. “Things have changed,” he replied. “Our relationship has changed and…I believe you shouldn’t shut out the person you love.”
Jess smiled at him. “You are amazing, you know that?”
”I was just thinking the same thing about you”, Becker replied. “After my father died, I thought…it was best not to let anyone get close to me again because eventually I might lose them again. So I built up this wall around me making sure no one could get past it.
“I don’t know how or when it happened but at some point, you managed to get behind that wall anyway and…I’m glad you did. For the first time in many years I feel…happy and at home again.”
For the first time in her life, Jess really didn’t know what to say. So she just leaned forward and kissed him.
“That was why I was…thinking…” he continued. “I…thought that…” He stopped and cleared his throat. Finally, he raised his eyes to look at her again. “Jessica Parker, will you marry me?”
Jess stood there open-mouthed for a second, letting his words sink in. He wanted her to marry him? This had to be a dream.
“Jess?” Becker whispered a bit insecurely when she didn’t reply.
She blinked, and then grinned from ear to ear. “Most definitely, yes.”
Grinning himself now, Becker reached in his pocket, took her hand in his and placed a small diamond ring on her finger. Yes, he was happy, perfectly happy. And for a moment, he was wondering why it had to take a dinosaur pulling Jess through an anomaly for him to finally get here.
“What is it?” Jess asked when she noticed he seemed to be a million miles away.
“It’s nothing”, he replied. “I was just wondering how my worst nightmare could turn into something this wonderful.”
Jess grimaced. “Well, I honestly could have done without the two weeks in the Early Jurassic.”
Becker took both her hands in his. “I promise I’ll make sure you’ll never have to go through something like this again.”
“Well, it finally made you reveal your feelings for me”, she said, grinning as she wrapped both arms around his middle. “So I guess it wasn’t that bad after all.”
Chuckling, Becker mumbled, “Your sanguine nature is one of the things I love most about you, you know that?”