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Oasis Interlude: Friends

Title: Oasis Interlude: Friends
Author: [info]shirleyann66
Fandom: Jericho
Rating: PG-13
Warnings:  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/N:  This fic is the scene described in chapter 154  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. 

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Heather sat silently in the passenger seat, her arms crossed tightly and protectively across her chest, hugging her torso. She sat as far away from Beck as she could, her silence radiating anger and defiance.

Beck clenched his jaw, and drove in silence, his knuckles white on the wheel.

“This can't go on,” Beck finally said, his tone calm but final.

Heather turned her head more fully towards her window and refused to respond.

Beck sighed in exasperation. “This is exactly what I'm talking about,” he said, “not to mention that little public battle back in Patterson. We're starting to scare the children,” he added drily.

Heather slanted a glare at him from the corner of her eye. “How much farther?” was all she said.

“About five miles,” he said.

Heather nodded. “You wanted to have uninterrupted time to shout at me – the least you can do is wait until we've gotten to our destination.”

Beck's grip on the steering wheel tightened and he gritted his teeth with a growl of frustration. Heather shifted, tightening her grip around her torso and shifted even closer to the door.

They drove the rest of the way in a taut silence loud with the anger radiating from both of them. Heather was out of the humvee as soon as it came to a halt, and Beck clenched his jaw and followed her more slowly. Beck quickly cleared the house, checking for any squatters who may have moved in over the last week, then left Heather in the house going through the basement and the cupboards as he checked the outbuildings.

He walked back to the house after finding no signs of life or human occupation, and found Heather with her head in the hall closet talking to herself as she dug through the previous owners' sheets, pillowcases and blankets.

Beck stood with his arms crossed against his chest as he watched her muttering to herself while she dug through the linens. In spite of his anger, frustration and fear regarding her erratic and sometimes extreme behavior towards him, he couldn't help the surge of affection at her earnest frown and her rapid-fire verbal decision-making regarding how best to disperse this sudden windfall.

“This used to be harder for you,” he said softly. Heather froze in mid-count of a pile of pillowcases. Beck could see her blinking rapidly as she swallowed hard.

“It's still hard for me,” she said quietly, staring at her hands holding cotton pillowcases belonging to a stranger.

“Lots of things are still hard for you, aren't they?” Beck said after a small pause.

Heather straightened her spine, her chin going up, even though she still wouldn't look at him. She opened her mouth to make a retort, then she paused, her eyes still on the pillowcases, and her shoulders slowly slumped.

“Yes,” she whispered.

“I'm sorry things are still so hard for you. I'm sorry for everything that happened to you.”

Heather blinked rapidly again. “It wasn't your fault.”

“No?”

She shook her head as she slowly dropped her hands and closed the closet door and turned to face him. “No,” she said and raised her eyes to his.

“Even though Constantino used you as bait to get to me?”

“And Jake. And Hawkins.”

Beck couldn't help the small quirk of his lips. “One little girl to draw in three big men.”

Heather gave him an answering quirk of the lips. “Modest much?”

Beck shrugged. “I was thinking of size more than anything else.”

“None of you are that big.”

Beck huffed a short chuckle.

“And I'm not a little girl.”

“No,” Beck said, and Heather's eyes widened at his tone, and then she blushed.

“Why are you taking it all out on me?” he asked after a moment.

Now her gaze dropped.

“You're not like this to Jake, are you?”

Heather hesitated, then slowly shook her head.

“So why me? Because I executed Constantino?”

“No,” she whispered.

“This can't go on,” Beck continued after she didn't say anything more. “You do understand that, right? It's not healthy for you, or me, or anyone around us.”

“I know.”

“I want to help you, Heather, but I don't know how, and you obviously don't want to talk about what's wrong – at least not with me.” Beck paused, then said slowly, “Maybe I need to...not...maybe we need to...not see -”

No.

Beck blinked at her, startled at the vehemence in her tone and her angry glare. “You don't know what I was about to say.”

“You were going to say we shouldn't see each other.”

Beck nodded slowly. “If seeing me upsets you, then yes – maybe we shouldn't see each other.”

“That won't help.”

Beck frowned. “Why not?”

Heather's eyes slid away from his. “...it just won't.”

Beck's frown deepened. “Heather -” he began then paused, taking in the deepening blush that was staining her cheeks. He blinked and his eyes widened as the possible significance of the blush began to sink in to his mind. He rocked back slightly as the thoughts raced through his mind, at the thought that she was pushing him away because she...he shook his head slightly.

Because she wanted him.

Hope exploded in his chest and he actually took a step towards her causing her to flinch away from him. He stopped short.

Whether she wanted him or not – she wasn't ready for him.

“Heather,” he said again, his voice warm and smooth, unconsciously seductive, “if we don't stop spending time with each other, then we need to find a way to work together again.”

She quickly glanced at him then away, then looked back at him, her eyes wide, as if she were surprised by what she saw in his face. They stared at each other in charged silence for a long moment and then she slowly nodded.

“If...” he hesitated, then started again. “Maybe we need to spend...more time together,” he suggested tentatively.

Her eyes widened even more, and her blush deepened. Whatever she saw in his eyes must have pleased her, because her defensive stance softened and a reluctant smile tugged at her lips. “Maybe,” she agreed softly.

He took a tentative step towards her. “Although we'll probably fight even worse than we do right now.”

“Probably,” she agreed.

“And you'll have to try and meet me halfway,” he said, taking another step towards her.

She hesitated for a second, her arms tight together and covering her chest, her fingertips resting on her chin, then she took a small step towards him. “I'll try,” she said, “if you'll do the same.”

He took another step towards her. “Oh, I will,” he said, and his dark eyes warmed as he looked at her.

She blushed even harder as realization flooded over her face. “Good,” she said, taking another small step forward.

“Excellent,” he said, taking another step.

They were now almost touching. Beck searched her face, taking in her defensive posture even as she looked at him with wide, hopeful eyes and a faint, shy smile.

He swallowed hard, his head dipping towards hers before he stopped himself short at her flinch. He straightened and carefully placed his hands on her shoulders, noticing how she involuntary tensed as he did so. He lightly rubbed her shoulders.

“That's all I ask,” he said huskily.

She swallowed hard, and made a visible effort to relax under the touch of his hands. With a final gentle rub on her shoulders, he slowly and reluctantly let his hands drop to his side and took a step back. He was pleased by the flash of disappointment on her face.

He cleared his throat. “We need to finish up here and get back to Patterson.”

She blinked. “Yes, yes we do.”

“I'm going to Rogue River tomorrow. You could come with me,” Beck offered.

She slowly smiled at him, the full grin she used to give him, and he blinked; he hadn't truly realized how much he'd missed seeing that smile. “I'd like that,” she said, “but I need to get back to Jericho. I got a message last night - Mayor Anderson has asked me to go to the North Territory – there's been a dispute over rations to that area. I'm leaving tomorrow, too.”

“Oh,” Beck said, not even trying to hide his disappointment. “Well, when we're both back in Jericho, maybe...maybe we could...ummm...” he fidgeted slightly, suddenly feeling very vulnerable, wondering how long it had been since he'd asked a woman on a date, “maybe we could have dinner? You know. As,” his voice lowered again, once again unconsciously seductive, “friends?”

Her grin got wider. “I'd like that,” she said.

He grinned back at her. “Good,” he said, and just stopped himself from rubbing his hands with glee. “Now - what do you need me to do to help you with this place?”


 


Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
nativefloridian
Feb. 27th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Yay!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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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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It may sound absurd: but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed: but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream

-- Five for Fighting, Superman (It's Not Easy) from the album American Town

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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."

-- Fox Mulder, The X-Files from the episode The Truth, pt. 2
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