Characters: Beck, Heather and Others
Rating: PG -13 - for some swear words.
Disclaimer: No, still don't own Jericho. Just having a little fun - not profit. No characters or fluffy plot bunnies were harmed in the creation of this fic.
Unbetaed. All mistakes are my own.
A/N - Yes, a really quick update this time. This was all intended to be part of Chapter 5, and it just didn't flow for me until I split them into two chapters instead of one. :)
Heather drove, letting Beck sleep in peace. Judging from his expression and his restlessness, though, his dreams were anything but sweet. She frowned, concerned, when he jerked awake, his eyes wide and staring. He looked around, blinking, then settled back with a sigh, rubbing his hands over his face.
"Where are we?" he asked.
"About an hour from Antelope Wells - if all goes well."
"Have you seen anybody at all?"
Heather shook her head. "Not a soul." She glanced at Beck. "What if there's nobody there?" she asked.
Beck shrugged. "Then we see what we can find, and head to Texas."
"What about Mexico?"
"If we have to, but I'm not sure what state Mexico is in, or whether they're sympathetic to refugees." He sighed. "It's hard to know what the truth is. I had intel through the ASA, but how much of it is real and how much is a lie - " he shook his head, then stiffened as he saw the truck come onto the highway behind them. Heather glanced into the rearview mirrror and sped up.
"Shit," Beck said, "they're speeding up, too."
Heather nodded, licking her lips and tightening her grip on the wheel. She glanced at him, wide-eyed, when he took out his gun. Then, with a visible effort, she relaxed and pressed the gas pedal to the floor. "If they've souped up that truck," she warned, "we won't be able to outrun them."
Beck nodded. "Keep us on the road, and I'll take care of the rest."
Heather took a deep breath and nodded. She pushed the car to its limits, but the truck closed in quickly. The first shot took out their back window and Heather and Beck ducked down, the car careening wildly across the road.
Beck returned fire as Heather jerked the car back under control, and proceeded to weave back and forth across the highway in the hopes of making a more difficult target. Unfortunately, those maneuvers caused Beck's shots to go wild as he was knocked off balance by a particularly sharp pull on the steering wheel that sent the car once again careening across the road, on the edge of losing control.
Heather steadied the car again, and Beck glared at her.
"I thought you said you could drive," he snarled, as he turned his attention back to shooting at the pursuing truck.
"I though you said you could shoot," Heather snapped. She glanced in the rearview mirror. "Hold on - and hold onto that gun," she warned then slammed on the brakes, throwing Beck against the dashboard.
"Jesus!" he exclaimed as he watched the truck swerve around them, the driver desperately trying to keep control. Heather pushed the gas pedal down again, while Beck aimed out the passenger window and shot out the back tires. The driver completely lost control, hit the side of the road and Heather slammed the brakes as the truck flipped and rolled until it ended upside down, its wheels slowly turning in the air.
She put the car into park, and sat there, shaking, as she stared at the truck. She turned her stare to Beck, her eyes wide and terrified, his dark and cold.
"We can't just leave them," she begged through bloodless lips.
Beck glared at her, then shook his head as he checked his ammo. "I'm going to check," he said, his voice clipped and grim. "If they start shooting, get out of the line of fire. If I go down, you run - got that?"
Heather nodded jerkily, even as she knew she would never leave him behind. She watched as he warily approached the truck with his gun at the ready, crouching low. When the shots came, she couldn't help the small scream that escaped her even as she ducked. She saw Beck hit the ground, even as he was returning fire. She crouched onto the front seat, her hands covering her head as the gunfire continued, and then, as abruptly as it had started, it ended. The silence seemed more deafening - and frightening - than the gunshots.
Heather cautiously lifted her head and saw Beck on the ground.
Her heart stopped, even as she opened the door and rolled out, keeping low and keeping the car between her and the overturned truck. She to the front of the car and hesitated. When no one shot at her, she headed towards Beck in a half-crouch. She saw him stir as she came towards him and the relief made her light-headed. She also saw that the two men in the truck were obviously dead.
She fell to her knees beside him and was relieved to see his eyes flutter open. His face was covered in blood from a deep, long graze over his left eye which was bleeding profusely. His left arm had been grazed as well, but it didn't seem to be bleeding as much as the head wound.
"I told you to run," Beck growled, sitting up with a groan.
"I know," she replied, grabbing the gun out of his hand, and helping him to his feet.
"So why are you here?" he asked, even as he leaned on her, blinking the blood out of his eye, his uninjured arm around her shoulders.
"I needed the gun," she replied.
"Well, that's practical at least," Beck muttered and let her help him into the car.
"I'm nothing if not practical," Heather muttered, her voice unconsciously wistful. She rummaged in the back seat for the emergency kit Clark had included. She quickly cleaned his wounds and assessed the extent of his injuries.
"Just grazed," she said, her voice wobbling with relief.
"I could have told you that," Beck muttered, wincing as he leaned his head back, closing his eyes. Heather shut the door and went to the driver's side.
"I'm sure you could have," Heather shook her head. She knew his head must hurt like a bastard and he still had too much macho attitude for his own good. For the first time in months, she smiled a genuine smile as she started the car and pulled away from the truck.
She glanced over at him, sitting in with his eyes closed. Her knowledge was sketchy in the area of head injuries, but she thought it would be a good idea if he stayed awake until she could hopefully find help for him.
"Beck," she said sharply, "you can't fall asleep."
He rolled his head towards her and opened his eyes, slowly blinking at her. "That would probably be a bad idea," he agreed, his voice thick with pain.
"So...talk to me," she said.
"About what?" he asked.
"Tell me about before. Before the Attacks. Who were you? What did you do for fun?"
Beck closed his eyes, not sure how to answer. Not sure if he could answer.
Heather glanced at him. "Okay," she said, taking pity on him, "I'll start. My grandmother and I used to watch old movies on Sunday afternoons. She'd pop popcorn - the old-fashioned way - on the stove. And we'd watch the classics. Cary Grant. Myrna Loy. Katharine Hepburn. Clark Gable. William Powell. She preferred the screwball comedies but we watched them all."
"What happened when you went to university?" he asked, wincing as he turned his head to look at her.
"She...uh...she died my first semester." Heather was silent for long moments. "It was...tough."
She fell silent, frowning against old memories and feelings, blinking the tears out of her eyes. This wasn't supposed to be about her, after all.
She cleared her throat, and glanced over at Beck. "Your turn," she said, keeping her voice light.
Beck paused for a moment, closing his eyes against the pain in his head.
"Beck!" Heather said sharply, and he opened his eyes, frowning.
"Uh...I...I - uh - I built a tree house for Maggie at every house we lived in."
"You're a carpenter?"
"Not really," Beck replied, his voice slow as he fought to stay awake when all he wanted to do was close his eyes to escape the pain in his head. "But you get better with practice. It was...our thing. Every new posting, we'd take the old tree house apart, and when we got to the new place, we'd use some of the old boards to help build the new one.
"It was her club house. Invitation only. Especially as she got older. She's very feminine - like her mother. When she was younger she'd invite me to tea parties, along with her favourite stuffed animals. She'd wear her prettiest dress and be the perfect hostess. Like her mother." He blinked sleepily. "When she got older, the tea parties changed to dinner parties - with real food. Usually peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And milk."
Heather couldn't help but grin at the mental picture. "It sounds like a wonderful tradition," she said gently.
Beck nodded once, then winced as the pain rolled through his head.
"We'll find them, Beck," Heather said, her voice more confident than she felt.
"Yes," he replied, his eyes fluttering closed.
Heather sat up straighter behind the wheel at the sight of the road block she could see in the distance. Her stomach roiled, her emotions confused as the possibility of finding and meeting his family became suddenly very real - and immediate. She bit her lip and resolutely refused to think about why she felt so scared and nervous.
"Well," she said, glancing over at him, "we're here."