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Lost Sheep - Ch. 4/??


Title: Lost Sheep
Characters: Beck, Heather and Others
Rating: PG
Chapters: 4/??

Disclaimer: No, still don't own Jericho, although I did have a dream that it got renewed for a season 3.  Sigh.  Anyway, just having a little fun - not profit - and all characters will be returned safe and sound.

Unbetaed.  All mistakes are my own.

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

 

They drove in almost complete silence. Heather could feel the anger radiating off him like heat. Heather sat beside him, her own anger at an all time high, mixed with trepidation. What had she been thinking when she packed up her gear and invited herself along on this trip, she wondered to herself. They might be gone for weeks and they hadn't been alone together in three months. She really couldn't predict what would happen during this enforced time together. But that was secondary, she reminded herself stoutly. The important thing was to ignore their issues long enough to find his wife and child and get back to Jericho. She ignored the skittering in her stomach at the thought of finding his wife.

After three hours, Beck pulled the car into a copse of trees. Hidden in the trees was a small house.

"Where - ?" Heather asked.

"It's a safe house that we use. It's just within the area we control. We'll camp here for the rest of the night, and leave at first light."

Heather nodded. Beck parked the car, and they took their gear into the house, which was tiny and unfurnished. Beck turned on the camping lantern he had brought in, and they set up camp in the livingroom.

Beck unrolled his sleeping bag, and then watched her unrolling her bag. "Okay," he sighed, "I know why I'm pissed off, but what's your excuse?"

Heather glanced at him. "I'm not pissed off," she protested, and flushed at the skeptical look on his face.

"Fine," she burst out. "Why didn't you tell me what this was about? I would have found you a better car! I would have helped you get your supplies!"

"Would you have let me go alone?" he asked drily.  The scorn in her eyes burned him, even across the room.  "Didn't think so."

"Why alone?" she demanded. "Why wouldn't you let any of us help you?"

Now it was Beck's turn to look at her with scorn. "And who would I ask?" he demanded. "You? You made your opinion of me crystal clear over the last three months. Jake? Please. Hawkins? Okay, Hawkins would have helped, but he's still weak from his wound and post-op infection, and I didn't need Darcy riding my ass, too. I wouldn't put my men at risk by asking them to leave Jericho with me. So, tell me, Heather – who, exactly, should I have asked?"

Heather stared at him. "You sound bitter," she stated, her voice carefully neutral.

Beck cocked his head as he considered her comment. "Yes," he nodded. "Yes, I think I am bitter."

"Do you blame us?" Heather exploded, throwing her hands in the air and pacing furiously. "You imprisoned Jake – and Russell – and tortured them! You terrorized Jericho! And for what? To avenge Goetz! What about Bonnie, huh? Or what about what happened to New Bern and Rogue River? What about them?"

"It wasn't about Goetz," Beck shouted, making her jump, and now it was his turn to pace angrily around the room. "It was about justice! It was about law and order. It was about exerting authority, and being seen to exert authority! Did you think the ASA, or Jennings and Rall would ignore what happened? Did you think Ravenwood would ignore it?"

"J and R fired him," Heather snapped, "and left him to the Rangers."

"And if he had just died in the gun battle to capture him, everyone would have been okay with that. But he was strung up in a tree, Heather – and that wasn't done for Bonnie. That was done as a threat – to me, to my men, to Jennings and Rall, and to the ASA."

"That wasn't Jake!"

Beck gritted his teeth as he spun to glare at her. Her blind loyalty to Jake made him want to shake her some days. "It was done with his consent! I don't care who actually put Goetz in that tree, or who only allowed it. It was a message. And I responded! More importantly, I had to be seen to be responding!"

"You tortured him, Beck!" Heather cried. "He was in your custody, and you tortured him!"

"I deprived him of food, water and sleep!" Beck yelled, suddenly looming over her. "I didn't rip his fingernails out, or beat him. And don't you think I knew that Gale would figure out where we were holding him? A hog farm isn't exactly subtle! Didn't you wonder why nobody followed you? If anybody was going to know where the Rangers were hiding, it was you. And didn't you ever wonder why nobody was watching Mimi? Or why people were allowed to riot in the streets and I didn't have them shot? Or why I didn't shoot you immediately?"

Heather stared at him, shaking.

"Did you really think I was that stupid?" he demanded. "Or that incompetent?"

"

Heather stared at him and tried to think of something to say. The thought that he had deliberately allowed them to find and rescue Jake – that he might have actually been on their side during those dark days - knocked her into a tailspin.

Beck leaned closer, his eyes blazing. Heather couldn't help the shiver as his breath tickled across her ear. "Not one of you asked what I had done when I was in Iraq," he hissed, his voice harsh. "And no one asked about the other towns in the country. Why should you think it would be different for you? Why would you think you're special? You can't turn a blind eye to what happened to others and then scream injustice when it happens to you."

"What did you do?" Heather whispered, her mouth dry.

"I removed elements from the equation by whatever means necessary. Disbanded those towns that wouldn't cooperate."

"So, why didn't you do the same to Jericho?" Heather challenged.

Heather caught her breath at the cold look in his eyes. "Because I had things to find. If my mission had been only to subdue the town, there wouldn't be a Jericho anymore. There wouldn't be a Jake Green, or a Robert Hawkins. Or a Heather Lisinski."

Heather stared at him, appalled. "That's...cold," she whispered.

"I have a cold job," Beck replied. "There's no room for warmth or softness in what I do. And when I'm protecting you, that's exactly what you want."

He turned away abruptly and Heather watched as he rolled himself into his sleeping bag, his back towards her. She followed suit more slowly, his words ringing in her ears.

 

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A/N 1:  I realize this is probably a little off-canon when it comes to how Beck responded to the citizens of Jericho rioting in the streets.  I don't remember him having people shot, but maybe he did.  :)

A/N 2:  This is my little rant at how they portrayed Beck in this episode.  For a guy who's "good at what he does", he was pretty damn stupid.  He kept Jake on a hog farm, and then let Gale go after she saw him??  And didn't follow her???  And he didn't have anybody watching Mimi or Heather????  Lord love a ducky - anyway, this is just my alternative interpretation of his actions.  :)

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
nativefloridian
Jan. 17th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
You're right, this is really dark. Please tell me it gets better.
shirleyann66
Jan. 17th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
You're right, this is really dark. Please tell me it gets better.

Ummmmmmm...it does get better, but they have some very dark places to walk through to get where they're going. And the way it's shaping up, it's more like a roller coaster than a straight road (there are light and fluffy moments throughout).

If dark isn't your thing, though, I would recommend you give this one a miss. Of course, what I consider dark and what others consider dark may be totally different. I'm not talking extreme violence or anything like that. It's more psychological darkness, I guess (not that I'm that sophisticated in my writing, but that's where this story is coming from).
nativefloridian
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I can deal with dark - hell, I like post-apocalyptic stuff - as long as it's not unrelenting and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

shirleyann66
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
I can deal with dark - hell, I like post-apocalyptic stuff - as long as it's not unrelenting and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I figured, but always best to warn people ahead of time - just in case. :) So, no, it's not unrelenting, and yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it is not a train).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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