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Sharp Dressed Man - Ch. 1/5

Title: Sharp Dressed Man - Ch. 1/5
Fandom: Jericho
Characters: Heather, Beck, Jake
Pairing: Heather/Beck
Genre: Fluffy Fluff
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: #12 : a sunset @ [info]story_lottery
Summary:  Just an ordinary day - or as ordinary as it ever gets in Jericho.
Spoilers:  Nothing specific, but anything in both seasons is fair game.
Word Count:  1456
Disclaimer:  Jericho and everything associated with it is owned by CBS and whoever else owns it - not me (sadly).  I have no claims or affiliations with any of the powers that be for this universe.  This is strictly for fun, not profit, and the characters shall be returned relatively safely and mostly unharmed.

A/N1:  Phyllis - this is the little "something extra" that I mentioned in one of my comments.   I hope you (and everybody else) enjoys this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.  :)

A/N2:  Yeah, you have to really squint to see the prompt...  :(




It was an ordinary day – or as ordinary as it ever got in Jericho. It was evening, with sunset not far away on this early fall day, two years after the Attacks. The Second Civil War had been over for two months, and everyone – including Jericho – was beginning to rebuild. The new government and the new peace were still fragile, though, and resources were scarce. Most of the newly reunited country was still on their own, and doing their best to survive.


In many ways, Jericho was back where it had been shortly after the Attacks – except that Beck and his troops had returned to town just before the end of the War to protect Jericho from the last great ASA offensive, and had afterwards volunteered to stay and help them rebuild. Jericho was the home of two of the greatest heroes of the War after all.


In many ways, it felt like he had never left.


The feeling of déja vu was strong as Beck listened to Heather reporting on the state of Jericho's supplies. She was no longer his liaison; instead, she was now Town Manager, but their working relationship had changed only slightly in spite of her new title and current boss. She was still focused on the safety and security of Jericho – and in ensuring that Beck always faced the truth and did the right thing.


The current conversation in Beck's office saw them disagreeing over how to ensure the surplus grain that was owed to them by a neighbouring town was actually delivered to them. After much debate, Heather had finally gotten Beck to agree that somebody needed to go and negotiate with her equivalent.


Now that she had won her first point, she turned her attention to her real goal. “A deal is a deal, after all,” Heather said persuasively, “but there's no need to literally send in the Army just yet. I think we'd be most successful if I went in my capacity as Town Manager.”


Beck cocked his head, leaned back in his desk chair and looked at her with his all-seeing eyes. “If I recall correctly,” he said thoughtfully, “the last time you went off on your own, you tried to blow up a factory. Who knows what trouble you'll get into this time?”


Heather stared at him, taken aback. Was he actually...teasing her? He tried to maintain his poker face, but a small smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, and his eyes were warm chocolate, causing a small shiver to rush down her spine.


She couldn't help it; she smiled at him, laughing a little. “If I promise not to blow anything up, can I go?”


Beck shrugged. “Sure.”


Heather's face lit up.


“But not alone,” Beck added, his tone final, even as he felt a small spurt of satisfaction that he could bring that look of happiness to her pretty face. “I'll send four of my men with you – in civvies,” he raised a calming hand as she opened her mouth to protest. “You'll meet whoever you want – outside town limits, in neutral territory. Under no circumstances do you or anybody else go into that town. Understood?”


The smile was gone; now Heather scowled at him, then nodded grudgingly. “Fine,” she sighed. “Understood.” She sounded so much like a petulant child that Beck had to bite back a grin. All that was missing was the pout, he thought, and he suppressed the urge to come out from behind the desk and give her a reassuring hug.


He caught a glimpse out of movement out of the corner of his eye. “And for God's sake,” he added, raising his voice slightly, “don't take Jake with you!”


“Don't take me where?” Jake asked, startled, as he walked into Beck's office, looking from one to the other.


“Never mind,” Heather huffed, and with a warning glare and shake of her head, left the two men alone.


“What was that about?” Jake asked, wide-eyed, as he watched her go.


Beck quickly explained. “And of course I want you to go with her,” Beck added. “You'll manage to get her out of any trouble she might encounter. Besides, you're one of the great heroes of the Second Civil War – that should give her more than enough clout if the negotiations start to go south. Just...try not to start any more wars, okay?”


Jake stared at him, his eyes assessing. “So why don't you go with her?” Jake asked skeptically.


Beck's gaze slid away from Jake's and he pointedly picked up a sheet of paper on his desk. “I'm needed here,” he replied calmly.


“Seriously? You can't be spared for one day?”


Beck muttered something, his attention focused on the paper in his hand, and Jake leaned closer. “What was that?”


Beck sighed, tossed the paper back onto his desk, sat back, and squarely met Jake's eyes.


“I don't have any civilian clothes,” Beck repeated clearly. “Most of my troops are in the same boat, so it would take time to find somebody who can lend me clothes. It sounds stupid, I know, but – I have nothing to wear.”


Jake stared at him for a second – and couldn't help it. He started to laugh.


Beck gave a sheepish shrug and then chuckled. “We've been giving aid and comfort for a long time, you know. And then that last battle just before the War ended took out my command tent – including all of my personal belongings except what I had on me.” He gave Jake a rueful grin. “Look, there's always another priority, right? I mean - “ Beck gestured at Jake's dirty jacket and jeans, “when was the last time you did laundry?”


Jake looked down at himself with a grin. “Actually, Emily or Mom does my laundry – but...I see your point. Okay – I'll go with them. But you -” Jake said, shaking a finger at him, “you need to get a change of clothes!”


“Yeah, yeah,” Beck muttered. “Now what did you want to see me about?”


With that, they went back to business.


The sun was setting by the time Beck left the sheriff's office to head to the small house he had been using since the end of the War and the loss of his command tent. He turned at the sound of his name to see Heather jogging to catch up to him.


“Hi,” he greeted, a slight question in his voice.


“Jake told me you're looking for clothes,” Heather said with an amused, bright-eyed grin.


“Jake has a big mouth,” Beck replied with a sigh.


“Well, that explains why you never go out in the evenings,” Heather responded.


“That, and I'm usually working until Bailey's closes, or asleep before it opens” Beck said drily.


“Well, regardless – we need to do something about this. And for the rest of your troops, too – but you first. Come on,” she said, grabbing his arm and tugging him after her.


“Where are we going?” Beck asked, a note of trepidation in his voice.


“We have a stock of second-hand clothes in the bomb shelter at the med-centre. We should be able to find something to fit you. And tomorrow,” she added, as she glanced at the sun setting in the west, “we'll let your troops know about it, and we'll hopefully get most of them outfitted, too.”


Beck sighed, but knew better than to protest. Besides, his troops could use civilian clothes, too, and this was the first he'd heard of the stash at the med-centre. It was research, he told himself, although deep down he knew it was more that he had a tough time saying no to the slender brunette in front of him. Especially when she was in this bouncy, earnest, problem-solving mode.


Even though he was utterly albeit reluctantly charmed by Heather's enthusiastic determination to solve his clothing problem, Beck silently vowed to send Jake on the next dirty job that came across his desk. It would serve Jake right to be on garbage duty for a couple of weeks. Maybe even three. Beck mentally shook visions of sweet revenge from his mind and focused his attention back on the woman beside him. If nothing else, he thought, he'd get to spend some more time with her when they weren't distracted with trying to save the world -


Maybe he'd only put Jake on garbage duty for one week...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
yeah!!!! more fanfic!!!

janet, sticking her head up to wave *hi* and read some more
Oct. 11th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Yay, janet!!!! *waves hi back* It's so good to "see" you! I was wondering where you'd been!! :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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