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Promises (or lack thereof) - Pt. 1/25

Title:   Promises (or lack thereof) - Pt. 1/25 
Challenge:  love_bingo  
 
Fandom:  Jericho
Character(s)/Pairing(s):  Major Edward Beck/Heather Lisinski - other characters (canon and OC as needed)
Genre:  Het; Romance 
Rating:  PG to PG-13
Words:  502
Prompt:  LO2 - Baby
Warnings:  Nothing too explicit but will warn for violence/implied torture in a couple of the later parts (I'll post a specific warning on those posts). Everything in the series and comics is fair game, so spoilers ahoy!  

Disclaimer:   I do not own, nor am I affiliated with, CBS or Jericho or...whoever else may actually own this show.  I just like to take the characters out to play.  I put them back, mostly unharmed...although not always...this is for fun, not profit and no copyright infringement is intended. 

A/N:  This was intended to be a series of unconnected one-shots.  It...didn't turn out that way...*cough*  However, while these are all connected, follow a timeline and form a "complete" story, I didn't make sure every beat/detail of the story was covered.  There are gaps, and some of the parts...hmmmm...don't really "resolve" anything.  That was deliberate and was done as an experiment.  Hopefully it worked...
 

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"Would you like to hold her?" 

Beck looked at Mary, startled. He glanced at Eric, and to his surprise, Eric gave him a small smile and nodded. 
 
Beck tenderly took the baby, Johanna, from her mother and cradled her carefully in the crook of his arm. The baby stared solemnly up at him, and he smiled at her, his usually stern expression softening as he gently stroked her cheek and allowed her to grasp his finger. 

For a moment, Beck forgot he was in a room surrounded by the Green family and their friends; forgot about the devastated country outside the room; the pending second civil war, and the day-to-day struggle to survive and ensure his activities against the ASA escaped detection. 

He forgot about his own lost family: a beautiful woman; a lovely child. He forgot about his guilt at his growing feelings for another beautiful woman who had stayed by his side when no one else would. Who'd believed in him and forced him to face the truth - whether he wanted to or not. Who'd never stopped believing he was a good man, trying to do the right thing. 

For a moment, the only reality was the hope embodied in the tiny bundle he held in his arms. 

He smiled again at the power in Johanna's grip, and settled her a bit more snugly in his arms. 

"You're a natural," Mary said softly. 

Beck didn't raise his eyes from the baby's face as he said, "I've had a lot of practice. My daughter's been missing since the Attacks. Along with her mother." 

Everyone except Heather drew in a startled breath. 

"I'm sorry," Mary said. "How old?" 

"She'd just turned ten." Beck kept his eyes trained on Johanna's face and tried not to see another newborn baby's face superimposed on hers. She yawned widely but she didn't release her death grip on his finger. "I'm still looking for them. Hoping -" he sighed. He glanced up and met Heather's sympathetic eyes. 

He quickly glanced back at Johanna, whose eyes were fluttering closed. 

"This little one is ready for a nap," he said affectionately. 

Mary received her baby back in her arms, and she and Eric looked at their baby with besotted eyes. 

Beck looked at them with happiness mixed with a bit of envy and sadness. Almost against his will, his gaze darted to Heather. Their eyes met, and he felt a small burst of heat when he saw the look in her eyes mirrored his own. He felt a stab of longing, a desire for a future and a family of his own that he wasn't free to pursue. He glanced away quickly, hoping no one else had noticed the naked emotion visible on his face. 

He couldn't - wouldn't - think of Heather in the context of a baby - of love. He wasn't free to give her the future she deserved; to make any promises to her. 

He turned away. 

It was the only thing he could do.

 


Part Two




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Quotes

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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