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Becker/Jess 01

Fic: Primeval - FourTimes Becker Brought Chocolate and One Time He Didn't (1/1) K+

Title: Four Times Becker Brought Chocolate and One Time He Didn't
Author:  maddie_amber
Rating:  PG (or K+)
Summary: When she had asked Matt to bring her chocolate, nothing with orange, Jess never expected she had tossed down the gauntlet of challenge.  But apparently she had.  Since then Becker had made a point of seeking out the most exotic chocolates
Disclaimer:  Don't own Primeval or its characters, I just like to borrow them once in a while. 
Author's Note:  No chocolate bars were harmed during the writing of this fic.  Well, not too badly.  Just little nibbles off the corners.  If you want to try them yourself you can find some of them here http://chuaochocolatier.com/  No I don't work for them.  LOL    I know others have had fun with the 'what's in the chocolate' idea.  Thought I'd try my hand and turn it into a 'five things' challenge as well.  Thanks again to marinawings for beta reading and cheering!



Four Times Becker Brought Chocolate and One Time He Didn't

Sweetness, rich and dark, laced with fire and a pop, pop, popping sensation at the back of her tongue made Jess's eyes widen with delight.  She put a hand to her mouth and grinned, "Oh," and took another tiny bite.  "That is so good."  This time she smiled and giggled at the strange rush of sensation.  “Okay, what's this one called?"  she asked, reaching for the blue foil wrapped chocolate bar Captain Becker held in his hand. 

She turned the bar over and read "Firecracker."  So appropriately named, she thought.  Last month when she had asked Matt to bring her chocolate, nothing with orange, she never expected she had tossed down the gauntlet of challenge.  But apparently she had.  Since then Becker had made a point of seeking out the most exotic chocolates.  This one laced with chipotle, salt and popping candy truly befitted its name. 

Becker had bought five candy bars, each unique, and he had admonished her to save each one for the appropriate mood and moment.  "You don't have to eat them all at once," he had said jokingly.

"Firecrackers are for celebrations," Jess told him now. 

"And what are we celebrating?" Becker asked.  He leaned back against the edge of the ADD, arms folded across his chest, the smallest smirk twitching at the corners of his mouth. 

"I think…." Jess frowned trying to think of an appropriate response.  "We should celebrate the fact that you've gone two whole weeks without ending up in medical.  Or -."

"- a month without Abby or Connor adding a new creature to the menagerie."

"Matt laughing at our jokes," Jess countered.

"Lester laughing at our jokes." Becker raised a doubtful eyebrow even as he spoke.

Jess shook her head. "I don't think we'll be celebrating that one soon."

"How about all of the above?" Becker suggested.

Jess grinned and broke off another piece of the chocolate bar offering it to him.  "Sounds good to me." 


* * * *


The soft whisper of air from the cooling unit above the ADD was the only sound in the room.  The last of the non security personnel had departed hours ago, the lights had dimmed, the glow from the ADD's screens the only light in the room.   Jess yawned and stretched, rubbing the back of her neck.  It had been months since she had seen the ARC this quiet.  Not since she first arrived, when the only inhabitants had been her and the creatures in the menagerie, before Captain Becker had walked through the door and into her life. 

She had to admit, she liked the silence.  She had forgotten how soothing the darkness could be.  With a few deft keystrokes she lowered the brightness of the screens, then with a self satisfied grin she pulled up videos of sun washed, white sand beaches, vaulting cloudless blue skies, the sound of waves lapping against the shore.  Kicking off her shoes, she leaned back in her chair, and propped her bare feet on the edge of the control panel, feeling just the slightest bit naughty for being so flip about an outrageously costly and sophisticated piece of equipment.  It did make a good footrest.

Slowly, she began to peel the wrapper off the bar of chocolate in her hand, but not before studying the wrapper, 60 percent cacao, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios.  Licking her lips in anticipation, she ran her fingernail under the edge breaking the seal.  This one was called Caracas.  The capital of Venezuela was not a place she planned on visiting but South America did put her in mind of tropical delights.  Slipping a piece of the nut laden chocolate into her mouth, she leaned back a little further in her chair, closed her eyes, savoring the rich crunch of nuts and the deep mellow flavor of cacao.  She imagined walking across the hot sand, curling her toes as the heat burned the soles of her feet, felt the sun baking her fair skin until it turned a distinct shade of pink.  And while she was daydreaming, she did not dream she was alone.  Nothing wrong with imagining him walking by her side, his hand in hers, scooping her up into his arms when the searing sand became more than she could bear.

She could almost smell his scent, clean, masculine, sometimes mingled with the scent of gun powder or the biting metallic discharge of the EMD's.  The olfactory image was so real mingled with the imaginary ocean breeze. 

"On vacation?" A teasing male voice spoke softly in her ear.

The chocolate bar flew from Jess's hand as she sat bolt upright in her chair, so startled she began to choke on an almond, lost her precarious balance and toppled the chair over sideways.  Becker caught her right before she hit the ground. 

 * * * *


Jess yawned, then snapped her mouth shut and forced her eyes wide open, pretending to be more awake than she felt.  It had been over 24 hours since she had slept and she was fighting to stay awake to focus bleary eyes on the readouts she really hadn't seen in hours and to force but her numb mind to comprehend what she was seeing.  The ADD had signaled the alert for three anomalies last night, all of which had been false alarms.  She needed to determine why these false signals had occurred.

She hated calling the team in when she knew they were exhausted from a long day, but she'd had no choice.  They had all looked so drained when they returned from the third trip out that she was sorely tempted to pull the plug on the ADD so they could all get some rest.  Instead, she threw herself into the analysis of the system.  That had been hours ago and she was no closer to a solution than she had been before.  Despite her determination to solve the problem, she was ready to admit that she needed help.  When Connor came in, she would have to ask he help her with the diagnostics.  No one else at the ARC understood the system quite like they did.  Together they could find any damage that existed and correct the program or hardware flaws.  If only she could stay awake. 

Glancing at the clock, she sighed.  It was 6:30 AM.  Everyone would be arriving for the morning shift, and she hadn't gone home and her problem solving progress had been minimal.  Leaning forward she put her elbows on the edge of the console and rested her head in her hands.  Eyes closed, she felt herself relaxing.  It wouldn't hurt, she though, to just sleep for a bit. 

She was jarred awake by the sound of boot heels on the hard floor.  She sat up blinking quickly to clear her vision and her head.  Becker, she thought.  He could move silently as a cat when he wanted to.  He was intentionally making noise so he would not startle her. 

"You look like you could use this," Becker said as he set a steaming mug of coffee next to her. 

"Is it that obvious?" she said stifling yet another yawn.

"I think the yawn was a good indication," he said.  "And the fact that you're wearing the same clothes you were wearing when we all left last night."

She just shook her head, cradling the hot mug between her hands and inhaling the rich fragrance.  It smelled wonderful, and she hoped the caffeine would clear her head. 

"This might help too," he added.

"Chocolate and anise?"  She was having trouble processing the simplest things.

"And espresso beans.  Ground.  Caffeine with a punch.  And if that doesn't work I'm told the couch in the third floor lounge is really comfortable."

Jess nodded and closed her eyes still clutching the warm mug in one hand and the chocolate in the other.  Apparently, caffeine overkill was not the answer.  The next thing she was aware of was strong arms lowering her gently onto something very soft.  She sighed, snuggling into the cushions as a warm cover was wrapped around her shoulders. There was something she needed to do, a problem she needed to solve.  Later. 


* * * *


Helpless anger raged through her and she slammed the enter key with far more force than needed.  He had no right.  She didn't care if he was the Philip Burton; he couldn't do this.  He had ordered the team into an incursion zone with a wildly erratic anomaly, and then told them not to close the anomaly because he wanted more 'readings'.  Connor had almost been killed the last time Burton wanted data on an odd anomaly.  This time they almost lost three good men and allowed a future predator loose in the city.  All because Burton wanted 'readings' and she was helpless to do anything but watch.  Her only orders were to "monitor" the situation.  Then he took offense because she objected.  She hated the condescending tone he used whenever he spoke to her, even more so because of the dire situation, and because she had railed against the needlessness of the risk.  She wasn't a child and was tired of him treating her like one.  Hadn't she proven herself by now?  She couldn't believe she had ever thought him as brilliant, because at this moment in time she thought Philip Burton was a monumental ass. 

Resting on the edge of her keyboard, where Becker had left it like a morning offering was a brightly wrapped chocolate bar labeled Spicy Mayan, its fiery red wrapper taunting her.  In her anger she tossed it into the trash untasted. What idiot would ruin perfectly good chocolate by putting cayenne pepper in it anyway?


* * * *


The fifth chocolate bar Becker had given her has been the most difficult for her to acknowledge.  Jess clutched it in her hand now, as though it were a life line.  She had kept it hidden away as though by hiding it she could deny what it had implied, yet she had kept it close, afraid she might never know the true meaning in its name.  Two months ago she had been forced to admit that what she felt for him was not just a girlish crush.  Her heart had stopped and her stomach rebelled as she had watched him being carried into the infirmary bloodied and broken.  The physical wounds had healed; on the outside he was whole, but something inside had hardened, as though by surrounding his heart with an impenetrable wall he would protect his friends from harm. 

He had grown increasingly aloof, his interactions formal and unemotional.  She feared today's accident had pushed him farther than even she could reach.  She knew in her heart he was wrong.  Not loving would not protect them nor would it make losing any one of them less painful.  Despite his refusal to acknowledge his feelings it was already too late to refuse to love.  He knew that.  He had done this before. 

Jess found him in the third floor observatory where he stood staring out the window keeping vigil in the darkening night.  The sun had set spreading a wash of brilliant color that reflected off the glass, coloring his face with its coral glow, deepening the anguished lines he thought no one would notice.  His hands were clasped behind his back, body rigid with tension. 

She did not know if he was aware of her presence as she watched him from the doorway.  If he was he gave no indication.  Softly, her feet barely making a sound, she moved forward until she stood a step or two behind him. 

"Come to lecture me about being glad that one or two innocents had survived the incursion?" Becker's voice was cold and cynical, and he did not turn to face her.  "To praise my 'brilliant' performance?"

"No," she said softly.  "I don't need to.  You already know that."  She stepped closer, laying her hand on his arm, feeling him tense under her touch.  Her heart nearly broke at his reaction.  He unclasped his hands pulling away from her and leaned forward on the rail in front of the window.

"I should never have come back to the ARC," he said, his voice barely a whisper.  "I should have stayed far away from this place."

"And done what?" she asked. 

"Anything.  Anything so I didn't have to watch another innocent die."

"Innocents would still die," she said.  "And if you'd stayed away I would never have met you."  She could hear her voice crack and fought back tears of frustration. 

"Meeting me is a curse, Jess," he said his voice tight with anger, fear, self-loathing.  "You almost died today.  And it was my fault."

"But I didn’t die."  She slipped her arms around his waist, resting her head against his back, hot tears spilling down her cheeks even though she said she would not cry.  She held him in the circle of her arms, wordless, until she felt the tension begin to drain from him.  At last he turned so he faced her.  She was a mess, her hair half up and half down, her dress torn from her shoulder, shoes abandoned in the mad race to escape the rampaging Eotyrannus that had cornered her.  Looking up into his face, her own streaked with tears, she knew now was the time.  "I love you Hilary Becker." 

He sighed deeply, taking her chin gently in one hand and tilting her head slightly as the nother hand rested on the small of her back.  "What am I going to do with you, Jessica Parker?"

"Exactly what you're doing right now," she whispered back. 

As his lips met hers she relaxed her hold on the now melted chocolate bar in her hand, it slipped to the ground, unheeded.  Scrawled across the wrapper in bold and flowing script the single word was a mere shadow of the storm of emotion she felt surging through her - Passion.