Title: No Title
Characters: Beck, Heather, OCs
Rating: PG? Probably not even that.
Disclaimer: Don't own Jericho...If I did, it would still be on the air; Beck would have had his shirt off at least once (or for most of the show), and Beck, Heather, Jake and Hawkins would have had at least one scene together. My TV would have exploded, but it soooo would have been worth it.
Unbetaed, all mistakes are my own.
A/N: This is a completely fluffy piece. No redeeming qualities whatsoever, and probably completely out-of-character, but I had a hoot writing it. I can't even think of a title, it's that fluffy. This is also a one-off; no connection to my last story. This one was actually written before The Fortress. The only commonality really is that this takes place some time after the end of season 2, and Beck's wife has been confirmed dead. So, I don't think it's clear in the story, but in my mind, he knows he's a widower. He's no cheater.
Beck was alone in the sheriff's office standing at his filing cabinet when Heather stormed in, furiously angry. He turned to her, startled by her anger, although he didn't know what had caused it.
"You're going out tomorrow?" Heather demanded angrily. "You support this hare-brained scheme?"
He replaced the file he was holding and closed the cabinet door before facing spitfire Heather. He had a feeling he would need all of his wits about him to come out of this encounter unscathed.
"We can't sit back and do nothing," he said, his voice soothing and reasonable. "We need to seize the offensive."
"Don't you patronize me!" Heather snarled, advancing on him and shaking a finger in his face. Beck wondered for a moment if it would hurt his tough guy image if he retreated from her, then decided that in this situation, discretion was definitely the better part of valor and backed away. It didn't help; she just followed. He thought she had never looked more beautiful - or more unattainable.
"Trying to break through the blockade with a head-on assault is a suicide mission and you know it!" Heather continued, not even realizing that she was basically chasing him around the office. "You're outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked. You've got the ASA on one side, Constantino on the other, and Texas nowhere to be seen. How can you expect the mission to be successful? And you're going to lead it? You're Jericho's general now - we need you here, for strategy, not out there on the front lines!"
"I'm not a general," Beck snapped, "and I won't ask my men to do something I wouldn't do. So, yes, I'm going out there, and yes, I'm leading my men into battle."
"I can't believe you let Jake convince you that this was a good idea!"
Beck stopped retreating at Jake's name, his face hardening. He understood her anger now; as usual, it was all about Jake. "Jake didn't "convince" me of anything," Beck replied, his voice cold and clipped. "We have to break the stalemate, or we all die. And we can't wait for Texas - they have bigger battles to fight."
"There are other ways!" Heather cried, her eyes beseeching Beck to listen to her, the same way she had pleaded with him so many times in the past. Beck's heart clenched; he wanted to please her, to make her happy - but above all, he had to make her safe, and he didn't know how to make her understand that.
"What other ways?" Beck asked. "We've been trying to find other ways for months - and we've almost left it too late!"
"Constantino is the weak point - and I can get to him! Take him out! One person, not all of you!"
Beck grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her slightly. "That's truly a suicide mission and I won't allow it. If things go as planned, casualties will be minimal." He dropped his hands and surveyed Heather's rebellious face. "I promise you," he said, his voice gentle, "I'll take care of Jake. I'll keep him safe."
"Jake? Jake?! This has nothing to do with him - he has Emily and Eric and Stanley and Hawkins to watch out for him! Who's going to take care of you?" she cried and pushed him roughly in the chest.
Beck instinctively reacted, grabbing her hands, quickly subduing her in spite of her struggles, pushing her up against the glass wall of his office with his body, and holding her hands behind her back.
She glared at him defiantly, her eyes wide and filled with tears. He stared at her in shock, and anger, stunned by her actions and her words. He tried to think of what to say, tried to get his own anger under control. Against his will, his eyes flicked to her lips, parted slightly as she panted from her emotions and the exertion of struggling against him. He was suddenly sharply aware that her body was pressed close to his, her breasts brushing his chest as she panted. So close, he thought distractedly, and yet...he met her eyes again for a long, timeless moment and saw her eyes widen in recognition, and then look at his mouth. He felt, more than saw, a slight feminine yielding in her face and body, a subtle invitation that Beck was positive she wasn't even aware she was giving. And one he had no hope of refusing.
He lowered his mouth towards hers slowly, giving her plenty of time to turn away from him. To his surprise and delight, she made no move to escape him, instead angling her mouth to meet his. Their lips barely brushed, when -
"Let her go, Major!"
Jake's shout shocked them and they sprang apart, spinning to face him.
Beck stared at Heather then Jake and back again. He wasn't often at a loss in any situation, but he was feeling out of his depth. Up until a moment ago, he was certain Heather was still in love with Jake. Now, he didn't know what to believe.
"This doesn't concern you, Jake," Heather said, her voice clipped.
"Was he forcing you?" Jake demanded, his eyes simmering with rage.
Heather gaped at him and then laughed. "Good God, no!" she said. "He wasn't doing anything I didn't want him to."
Beck and Jake stared at her.
"Really?" They said simultaneously, then glared at each other.
"Really," Heather confirmed. "Are you here for something important?" she asked.
"I was checking on you," Jake said, more subdued. "You were so upset earlier. It took me this long to find you."
Heather shook her head. "I'm fine now. I'm still angry, but I'll be okay. I want to finish my conversation with Beck." She glared at Jake. "In private," she added meaningfully.
Jake looked startled, then gave Beck one last glare. "Fine," he said, and left the sheriff's office.
Tension was thick between Beck and Heather after Jake left the building. Beck, carefully avoiding Heather's eyes, moved away from her and behind his desk. He felt foolish, and strangely vulnerable, worried that Heather had gotten carried away by the heat of the moment and not certain how to approach the situation. So he did what men had done since time immemorial when faced with a woman they didn't understand: he was silent, and hoped the situation would disappear on its own.
"Don't you want to know what I meant?" Heather challenged.
Beck's eyes flew to her face, and took in her determined expression. He sighed. She wouldn't let it go until he heard what she had to say. It was the most irritating - and the most admirable - thing about her. He straightened up behind his desk, then came out and leaned against it, his arms crossed. He was a 46 year old man, for God's sake, he thought with disgust. He could deal with one tiny brunette.
"My men will look out for me," he said, deliberately ignoring the events of the last few minutes.
"No, they won't, because you'll be too busy looking out for them. So, who will take care of you, Beck?"
"I'm a soldier, Heather," Beck said calmly. "This is what I do. This is what I'm trained to do, and what my men are trained to do. I know you said this had nothing to do with Jake, but I will keep him and all the Rangers safe."
Heather moved closer to him, and hesitantly put her hands on his crossed arms. He jerked in surprise, and then stood still. "I want you to keep you safe," she said earnestly. "I know you're a soldier; I know your job is to go into dangerous situations, to fight battles and win wars. Just...don't be stupid. Don't make unnecessary sacrifices. Don't be crazily courageous. If you go out there, and come back dead - " Heather's voice broke, and she swallowed hard, her grip on his arms tightening, "I'll never forgive you," she whispered, her eyes luminous.
Beck stared at her in shock and fascination. She looked so beautiful, and so...concerned. For him? he thought in wonderment. Even after everything he had done - before Jericho, and to Jericho, and for Jericho.
Heather edged closer. "You almost kissed me," she said softly.
Beck blinked. "You almost let me," he responded, his voice tight.
She tugged at his arms until he uncrossed them, and she was standing in front of him, holding his arms at his sides. "I'm willing to let you try again," she said shyly, her eyes frightened and vulnerable.
"Yeah?" he said, putting his hands on her hips and drawing her closer.
"If...if you want to," she stammered.
In answer, Beck cupped her face and lowered his mouth to hers. Their lips barely brushed when -
"What are you doing!"
Beck and Heather jerked apart at the sound of Emily's voice.
"Doesn't anybody knock?" Beck muttered. Heather stared at Emily in consternation.
"What - " Heather sputtered.
"Jake told me you were in here with Beck, and it looked like the two of you - well, I didn't believe him! My God, Heather; what are you thinking? And Beck - get your hands off her!"
Beck stood up, and held his hands up at his shoulders. Heather glared at Emily. She turned to Beck. "You! Hands back where you had 'em! You!" she turned to Emily, "get the hell out - and you better not send Stanley in here, or so help me!"
Emily raised her hands in mock surrender and laughed as she left the office.
Heather turned to Beck. "Quick, before they send anybody else in here!"
Beck laughed, and caught her to him and kissed her.
And for the next five minutes, Beck wouldn't have cared if the entire town of Jericho trooped through his doors; he wouldn't have noticed them anyway.