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Oasis Interlude: Friends, Old and New

Title: Oasis Interlude: Friends, Old and New
Author: [info]shirleyann66
Fandom: Jericho
Written for schmoop_bingo - Baby - First Steps
Rating: PG-13
Warnings:  A few swear words...Spoilers for pretty much everything that's ever happened in the series may lie within.   Since this was started LONG before the comic was released, any similarity to the events in the comics is purely coincidental. 
Disclaimer/Claimer: I do not own nor am I affiliated with Jericho or CBS or any of the other PTB in relation to the show (although if anybody has a Major Beck just kickin' around with nothing to do, looking lonely...send him my way!). No infringement is intended. I'm just taking the characters out to play, and will do my best to show them a very, VERY good time. ;) 

A/N1:  This fic is the scene described in chapter 144  of Oasis.  You don't need to know that story (I don't think..) in order to understand this Interlude.  In a nutshell:  Heather was kidnapped by Constantino and tortured.  She was subsequently rescued by Beck and company, and Constantino was promptly executed by Beck.  The subsequent revelation of Beck's actions has caused a rift between Heather and Beck that has yet to heal. 

A/N2:  I'm also not sure if this really meets the definition of "schmoop" (if there is one) - but I liked it!  :D


-------------------

The sound of packages dropping and Mimi's voice cursing a creative blue streak immediately caught Beck's attention.

“Don't, Mimi,” he called as he saw her trying to juggle her remaining packages and her bulk to pick up what she'd dropped, angry, frustrated tears in her eyes.

“I'll get it,” he said gently, smiling at her. He picked up the dropped packages then carefully removed the others from her unresisting arms.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” she muttered, not looking at him. “Can't see my feet, can't pick anything up, I have to pee every five seconds – stupid pregnancy, stupid baby, stupid Stanley!”

Beck let this muttered tirade flow without comment as he took Mimi's arm and guided her to her truck.

“Where is stupid Stanley anyway?” he asked. “You shouldn't be here by yourself, buying groceries – you're due soon, aren't you?”

“Not soon enough! And Stanley's at home, hiding out in the barn with Heather.”

Beck froze, his face a mask of confusion.

“Hiding out...in the barn...with Heather?”

“They're working on the tractor.”

“Ah,” Beck said, ridiculous relief flooding through him.

“And I may have had a screaming fit this morning.”

You? Never!”

Mimi shot a darkly suspicious look at him then gave him a reluctant smile.

“That's better,” Beck said. “Look, let me get you something to eat and drink at Bailey's and you can tell me all about it.”

“All about Heather, you mean,” Mimi said slyly and winced, rubbing her back.

Beck shot her a shrewd glance. “You obviously know about our...falling out.”

“Falling out? Man, she kicked your sorry ass out of town,” Mimi replied gleefully as she preceded him into Bailey's.

“That's old news,” he scoffed gently. “Where've you been the last few months? We're almost civil to each other again. We even talked to each other when Jake and Emily announced their engagement the other night. Come on,” he added, “I think you need to sit down for awhile.”

“Yeah,” she sighed as she carefully lowered herself onto the chair he held for her. “My back's been killing me all day.”

“Hmmm,” Beck said. “I'm going to place our order – Mary shouldn't really be on her feet too much right now either.”

“Pah!” Mimi called after him, loud enough for Mary to hear, “she still has almost three whole months to go! She's fine!”

Mary shook her head and laughed at Mimi before turning her attention to Beck, who asked Mary for iced water. Beck then had a casual word with the young corporal sitting at the bar before heading back to Mimi.

“Stupid water,” she pouted and Beck laughed.

“You know, by the time your baby is taking his or her first steps, you'll look back on this as the best time of your life.”

“Bullshit,” Mimi replied simply and Beck laughed again as he sat down, causing heads to turn.

Mimi gave him a reluctant smile. “Okay,” she said, “you want to know how Heather's doing.”

Beck shrugged. “Only if you want to tell me. We can talk about anything you like.”

Anything?”

“Within reason,” Beck hastily clarified.

“Oh, come on, Major,” Mimi teased, “you can't change the rules now.”

“You asked for clarification,” Beck countered.

“And now you sound like your friend the lawyer,” Mimi laughed, then groaned. “Back spasms,” she sighed.

“Have you been getting them a lot?”

“Off and on the last couple weeks. Today they just won't go away.”

“Sir.”

Beck and Mimi turned to look at the young corporal from the bar.

“Mary asked me to bring your food to you.”

“Thank you, corporal.”

The corporal handed them their plates. “Anything else, sir?”

“Yes, corporal. I need you to run that errand I told you about after all.”

“Yes, sir,” the corporal said. He nodded at Mimi then hurried out of Bailey's.

Mimi grimaced as she looked at the food in front of her. “Ugh. I'm so not hungry. You shouldn't have ordered so much.”

“It's only a hamburger and fries, Mimi,” Beck soothed. “If you don't want it, I'll take it home and feed it to Nick.”

Mimi giggled slightly, then fixed Beck with a stern look. “You're not distracting me that easily,” she said. “You wanted to know about Heather.”

Beck simply raised an eyebrow as he ate a french fry, then took a bite of his hamburger.

Mimi considered him thoughtfully.

“She's...coping,” Mimi said finally.

Beck stopped in mid-chew as he looked at her, weighing the words, turning them over and over in his mind. He finished chewing and swallowed.

“That doesn't sound promising,” he said.

“I don't mean she's on the verge of anything drastic,” Mimi assured him hastily, “but she's not herself. She's struggling with everything that's happened to her.”

Beck nodded, his eyes sad.

“You love her, don't you?” Mimi asked casually.

Beck froze, his hamburger half-way to his mouth. After a long moment, he slowly lowered the hamburger to the plate and considered his reply.

“I'm her friend,” he said carefully.

“Friend. Right.”

“Mimi -”

“Oh, don't take that tone with me! I've seen your face when she walks in the room!”

“Mimi, Heather's barely speaking to me and, like you said, she kicked my sorry ass out of town. I'm assuming she told you all about it.”

“Everyone in town knows about it. Half the town heard it!”

“Oh, God...”

“Small town, Major,” Mimi smirked, and leaned as far forward as her bulk allowed. “Word of advice? Close your windows.”

Beck closed his eyes and prayed for strength.

A smile tugged at Mimi's mouth. “I see you're not trying too hard to convince me I'm wrong about your feelings.”

Beck gave her an exasperated look. “I haven't had a chance! Besides, would it matter if I did?”

“No. You're a good man, Major Beck. Now if o – ooooh...”

Mimi grimaced as pain gripped her then she looked fearfully at Beck. “That...that one was different.”

Beck nodded calmly, wiped his hands and mouth and stood. He helped Mimi struggle to her feet. “I think you're in labor – probably have been all day. Come on -”

Labor! I can't be! It's too early!”

“Early or not,” Beck soothed, helping Mimi to the door, “I think your baby is coming today.”

Mimi stared at him, her eyes huge in her pale face. “Stanley -”

“Is – here,” Beck finished as a wild-eyed Stanley burst into Bailey's followed by Heather and the corporal who'd been in the bar earlier.

Between the four of them, they got Mimi to the med-center, and into Kenchy's care. As they watched Stanley and Mimi head down the hallway to the examination room, Beck thanked the corporal who grinned and saluted.

“Glad to do it, sir,” he said cheerfully, then turned and left the med-center.

Beck looked at Heather, and basked in the excitement and happiness on her face. He smiled when she grinned at him, and for a moment the last few months and all the tension between them melted away and they were just Beck and Heather again, the way they used to be before Constantino dimmed the light in her eyes.

Her whole face was alight with happiness, excitement shining in her eyes, and his fingers itched to touch her. He actually shook with the desire to take her in his arms and kiss her until she agreed to forgive him and give him a chance.

He slowly clenched his hands and his jaw, struggling against his impulses. He was saved by Jake and Eric bursting into the med-center and the excited babble that broke out between the three.

He told Jake and Eric what had happened, then he quietly slipped away as more friends and family arrived. He paused at the door and looked back at Heather, and found her watching him go, an odd mix of sadness and regret and almost...hurt on her face.

He gave her a smile and slipped out the door, and realized as he walked to Stanley and Mimi's truck to grab the groceries and take them to the Richmond farm, that he and Heather hadn't exchanged a single word.


A/N3:  If I thought I could do the boys' night out justice, that would have been part of this interlude, too!!  :D


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"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need...fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little --"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

-- Susan and Death in Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

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"And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based."

-- Lord Vetinari in Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

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They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.

-- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

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As a wizard, it was something that Ponder had only before encountered in acorns: a tiny soundless voice which said, yes, I am but a small, green, simple object - but I dream about forests.

-- Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

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In the 24th century, there will be no hunger. There will be no greed. And every child will know how to read.

-- Gene Roddenberry, as repeated by Jonathan Frakes in the documentary How William Shatner Changed the World

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We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way.

-- Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Hard Way from the album Come On, Come On

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Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want.

-- John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change from the album Continuum

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Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow."

-- Mary Anne Radmacher, as seen in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Tales to Inspire

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I never loved the soldier
Until there was a war.
Or thought about tomorrow
'til my baby hit the floor.
I only talk to God
When somebody's about to die.
I never cherished freedom
Freedom never cries.

-- Five for Fighting, Freedom Never Cries from the album Two Lights

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Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed: but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream

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Had a dream last night took a time travellin' ride
Back to my childhood where those monsters reside
They snack on innocence and dine on self-esteem
But I like to be in touch with what makes me scream
Vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost
These are the things that terrify me the most.
No alien, psychopath or MTV host
Scares me like vampires,mummies and the Holy Ghost.

-- Jimmy Buffett, Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost from the album Fruitcakes

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"I want to believe that... the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us... as part of something greater than us - greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen, to what's speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves."

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