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Title: For God and Country and Heather Lisinski
Characters: Beck, Heather, OCs
Rating: PG-13 for strong language and mature subject matter
Chapters: 3/??
Disclaimer: No, still don't own Jericho...and no matter how hard I wish it, Beck never took off that darn uniform.

A/N: I may not have this rated correctly. If this should have a different rating, please let me know, and I'll make the change. Thanks!



The storm hit just before Heather got to the farm, and it hit with a vengeance. The wind was howling and picking up speed, and she was half-blinded and soaked by the heavy downpour almost instantly. The lightning was intense, the thunder deafening, and Heather looked at the sky and knew she had to head to the storm cellar. If Old Mrs Francis had left the house open, that was just too bad.

Heather quickly glanced around her and gaped at the sight of Beck, running to catch up with her. She gaped even more at the clouds roiling behind him, forming ominous tendrils growing toward the ground.

"Come on!" she screamed against the wind, dancing impatiently as he ran towards her. They then ran as fast as they could towards the farmhouse, trying to see through the rain and slipping in the wet grass and earth. Together they helped each other navigate the run to the storm cellar on the other side of the house.

Beck got the doors open, and Heather headed down first, while he followed, struggling to close the doors in the gusting wind. Heather quickly found a lantern and turned it on, then headed back up the stairs to help Beck. They got the doors shut with a bang, and Beck held them, while Heather locked them down. Gasping for breath, streaming water, and shivering from cold and fear, Heather led the way down to the storm cellar, where they stood for a moment listening to the rain and the wind and the thunder.

Beck wiped the water from his face while Heather tried to wring water from her hair. She became uncomfortably aware that her tank top and shorts were soaking wet, and clinging to her like a second skin, while Beck's jeans were soaked through, although his torso was still bare. The storm cellar was cool, and she looked around to see if there was anything they could use as a towel, and for warmth.

She saw a cot in the corner, and headed there, trying to ignore the small space and the man in that space with her, his anger radiating from him like a fire.

"I've never thought you were stupid," Beck growled, his voice loud even against the sound of the storm outside, "but I'm beginning to wonder."

Heather stopped dead in her tracks and turned to glare at him. "Constantino's men aren't out in this," she said sarcastically.

Beck glared at her then stiffened as the sound like a freight train began to build. He glanced up at the door, then grabbed Heather and huddled with her in the corner farthest away from the stairs. Luckily, she had grabbed one of the blankets from the cot as they passed, and she threw it over them, for both warmth and for some small measure of protection as they waited for the storm to pass.

"Funnel clouds," Beck said grimly, holding tight to Heather. She clung to him, her eyes wide and terrified, teeth chattering as they listened to the storm getting louder and more violent, the doors to the storm cellar rattling hard.

Heather lost track of how long they sat, huddled under the blanket, clinging to each other as the storm raged outside. They could hear the sounds of destruction, and the noise seemed never-ending, building and building, until Beck finally cupped Heather's head and pressed her face into his neck, whispering comforting and reassuring words as she shivered and shook against him.

Heather could feel tears gathering in her eyes. It had been so long since anyone had even tried to comfort or protect her. And in spite of the fear and the danger, Beck's efforts to protect and comfort made her feel safe, and...cherished. Or at least like somebody actually cared if she lived or died.

The noise of the wind eventually died away, until only the sound of the rain was left. After long moments, Heather reluctantly raised her head to meet Beck's wide brown eyes. She was suddenly very aware that the man she had been clinging to was shirtless, and she could feel herself start to blush. She was grateful for the dim lighting.

"I think the worst is over," she said shyly.

Beck nodded. "Still raining like a son-of-a-bitch, though."

"That should end soon," Heather said hopefully. "We should try to get dry - it's cold down here." She hoped her reluctance to disengage from Beck wasn't obvious. "And you're..." she gestured vaguely.

Beck suppressed a smile. "Yes," he agreed solemnly.

Heather hastily pulled away from him. Her awareness of Beck, coupled with the after-effects of her fear, and the fact that she was in a small, confined space made her nervous and clumsy. She put a hand on his thigh to push herself off the floor, and then snatched her hand away, blushing furiously. "I'm s-sorry," she stuttered, scrambling to her feet and backing away.

Beck's amusement deepened, and she stared at him with wide eyes. For a brief moment, she felt like the old Heather, the Heather she had been before New Bern, when she had been brave enough and naive enough to kiss a man she liked in broad daylight on Main Street. She wondered frantically what Beck would do if she kissed him, here and now. When he had nowhere to run.

And then she remembered what happened in New Bern, and she put those thoughts away.

By this time, Beck was also on his feet, and he seemed to loom over her, dominating the small space they were in. He was holding the blanket they had huddled under. She realized he had spoken. The blush that had been fading rushed back as she asked him to repeat himself.

"I just asked if there were more blankets, or anything resembling towels," he said, his eyes now showing his concern rather than amusement.

"There's at least one more blanket," Heather said, then hurried over to the cot. "Yes, one more," she said, nodding.

Beck cocked his head to listen to the rain. "I think it's starting to slow down," he said, "so we will hopefully be able to get out of here and into the house so we can get warm and dry. In the meantime, we can use this blanket to dry off a bit, and then we can share the other blanket to get warm." He handed the blanket to Heather. "Here - ladies first."

She reluctantly took the blanket from him. "Thank you," she said softly and proceeded to blot her hair, and to rub some feeling back into her arms and legs. She then handed the blanket back to Beck. "I think most of the rain water soaked into you," she said, giving him a small smile. She was damp, but not as dripping wet as she was before.

"I think the dirt floor took a lot of it," Beck responded, taking the blanket and doing the same as Heather. He had the advantage of a bare torso, but he was wearing jeans, and Heather knew those had to be uncomfortable, especially in the cool of the storm cellar.

As he towelled himself, Beck gave Heather that cool, direct, assessing gaze; the look that always told her he was analyzing data and making decisions about his next course of action.

She avoided his eyes, looking instead around the storm cellar. Old Mrs. Francis kept it well stocked for emergencies, with not only the electric lantern, but also kerosene lanterns and matches. The cot had two blankets and two pillows; there was a portable radio, a crib board and cards, and canned food and bottled water on the shelves. There was even a stack of magazines and books of puzzles on one shelf, along with a package of mechanical pencils. When Heather opened a door tucked under the stairs and saw the covered honey pot, she said, with a fond smile, "Old Mrs. Francis thinks of everything."

Beck nodded. "Lucky for us," he said drily. He paused, and listened. "I think the wind has stopped," he said, "and the rain, too. I'm going to open the doors and take a look around."

Heather's relief was palpable, and she nodded eager agreement.

Beck went up the stairs, with Heather close behind him. He unlocked the doors, and pushed them. To his surprise, and Heather's dismay, they didn't open.

He tried again; the doors opened a fraction of an inch.

"No," Heather protested, her voice strained "no - we have to get out of here." She came up beside him on the stairs.

Beck gave her a concerned look, but nodded, and said, "On three. One - two - THREE!" They both pushed against the doors, but managed to only open them enough to see it was now dark, and the rain was still falling in a steady drizzle. They tried one last time, and then Beck sighed heavily and said, his voice resigned, "We'll have to spend the night."

Heather stared at him, wild-eyed. "No!" she said, the edge of panic in her voice. "We have to keep trying! Maybe we can dislodge whatever it is," and she turned back to the doors and began frantically pushing against them.

"Heather - " Beck said gently, reaching out and grasping her wrists to stop her.

She reacted instinctively, flinging his hands off, twisting away and striking out at him. She lost her balance and began to fall. Beck grabbed her, and she took him down with her. Beck somehow managed to twist both of them so that they hit the third step on their hips and butts, rather than falling straight backwards or tumbling down the stairs.

They slid down the rest of the stairs, their hips hitting each step as they fell, and lay in an untidy heap at the bottom, the breath knocked out of them. In Heather's case, it also knocked the panic out of her.

"Are you all right?" she asked in a small, ashamed voice after several moments of silence.

"I'll let you know when the pain stops," Beck groaned.

Heather gingerly sat up, relieved to find that everything still worked properly, even if sore. She looked at Beck beside her, his face contorted in a grimace of pain.

She carefully ran her hands down one of his legs. "Let me know if I hurt you," she said.

He laughed slightly, putting one hand lightly over hers, but making no attempt to restrain her. She stopped at the first touch. "Nothing's broken," he groaned, "but I'm not as young as I used to be." He opened his eyes, and Heather froze like a rabbit facing a mountain lion. A beautiful, sinuous creature, she thought distractedly, but deadly to the core.

Beck sat up with a groan, but made no move to stand. He looked at her very seriously for a long moment, and asked quietly, "What happened to you in New Bern, Heather?"

Heather flinched as if he had struck her.

Beck leaned against the stairs, and slowly reached out a hand to her arm. She jerked, but did not move away from his touch. He carefully and loosely put his hand around her arm and tugged her gently. "Come sit beside me," he said, his voice gentle.

Heather allowed herself to be settled beside him, her eyes never leaving his. Her eyes were wide and vulnerable, and clearly showed her fear and confusion and shame.

Beck turned more fully towards her, and - again cautiously and slowly - took her hand loosely in his.

"Heather," he said, then paused and swallowed. "Heather," he said again, his voice betraying no emotion, "did they...rape you in New Bern?"

Heather's eyes never wavered from his as he waited for her response. Finally, after long moments of silence, she whispered, "No."

"Tell me what happened," he invited.

She swallowed hard, and even though she kept her eyes locked on his, she no longer saw him, or the storm cellar. She saw the jail cells in New Bern as she began to speak.

"We were in the prison for two days when the deputies came in. Two of them. There were three of us - two other women and me. The deputies - one held his gun on us while the other handcuffed us to our beds. We didn't struggle - it had happened before, and it was because a doctor had come to examine us, give us physicals, right there. In front of each other. We just assumed the doctor was coming again, or something similar. Besides, I had struggled the first time, and the deputy punched me; knocked me out cold. I'd never been punched before.

"So, they handcuffed us down, and then...they each took a woman and raped her. We were all screaming, until the deputies slapped them around. I kept screaming until one deputy got up and pointed his gun at my head and told me to shut the f-fuck up or he would kill me. The other deputy reminded him that I was more valuable to Constantino alive, and Constantino would make him pay if anything happened to me.

"I wanted to keep them talking, away from the others, so I asked what they meant. I hoped somebody would come and rescue us, stop them from using us like animals.

"They told me the deputies had drawn straws for the women to see who would get first crack at them. But not me. The doctor had told them I was still a v-virgin; that meant I would bring more at Black Jack. Constantino had left explicit orders I wasn't to be touched. No help was going to arrive. Six deputies came in through the night, and repeatedly raped the women in the cell with me.

"I went to school with some of those men; I knew almost all of them all my life. I begged them to leave those women alone, to let us go, to be human. I tried to loosen the bed frame, to find a way to pick the locks on the handcuffs, to rip the entire bed from the floor, but I couldn't get free.

"Some of the deputies...flaunted themselves to me, saying they knew I wanted them. I had had a crush on one of them all through high school, and I couldn't believe he would do these things, and I told him so. He came over and...said he always knew I had wanted him, and how pathetic I was that I had never found a man who would f-fuck me, and I was just sorry he wasn't there for me. I spit in his face and kicked him, and he punched me. Only he didn't knock me out. After that they stayed away from me.

"The women were quiet through most of it. They only spoke to me once - after I had been punched - to say they hated me because I wasn't being raped, too. I asked how badly they were hurt, and they only told me they hated me.

"We were handcuffed all night. The next day, we were rescued by a group of people who were resisting Constantino. We were on the way to Black Jack, and this group ambushed the truck. They split us up - the women refused to get in the car with me - and we got away, only to be ambushed ourselves later, which was when the army found me.

"Everyone in the car was killed, except me. Everyone was raped, except me. Everyone died, except me. And I couldn't help anybody."

As Heather spoke, Beck had kept a reassuring grip on her hand. His eyes showed the horror and compassion he felt at her story, and the anger at Constantino and his men.

"Is that why you're making yourself an easy target for Constantino?" he asked carefully. "Because you think your death will somehow make up for what happened?"

Heather paused. "Constantino doesn't want me dead, Beck," she finally said. "At least not right away." She stared at him unseeingly. "Those poor women," she whispered.

"What were their names?"

Heather swallowed. "I told you already," she said, her eyes skittering away from his for the first time since her story began.

"No, you haven't. What were their names?"

Heather was silent for long moments, and then she whispered, "Rebecca and Amy," and burst into tears.

Beck gathered her close, and held her tight, making sure he didn't restrain her hands or arms. Heather sobbed harder at the feel of his arms around her. She cried for Rebecca and Amy, and the other women like them. She cried for the people who had died in the crash that she had survived. She cried for those who died in the Attacks and those who had died after. She cried for innocence lost, for dreams broken, for lost faith and dashed hopes. She cried for Beck and his family. She cried for Jake, and Emily, and all of Jericho. She cried for all the things she couldn't change, or fix. She cried for the loss of her previous self; she cried for her current self and the pain and the shame and the guilt she carried. And she cried for a lost world that would never be regained.

With Beck's arms around her, she cried without restraint, sobbing like a child, her body wracked by her emotions and her expression of them.

She had no idea how long they sat on the dirt floor at the bottom of the stairs. But the tears eventually subsided, and she became aware again of Beck's body against hers, her stuffed sinuses, and a bone-deep exhaustion that numbed her, and made her almost fall asleep where they sat.

Beck was holding her tightly, one arm around her, the other pressing her head to his chest. He gently massaged her scalp, his fingers buried in her hair, almost petting her, she thought through her haze of exhaustion.

She slowly and reluctantly lifted her head and looked at him, her eyes glazed and bloodshot and red-rimmed. He gave her a small smile. "Ready to face the rest of the night?" he asked softly, his hand still on her head. She nodded slowly. Beck gazed at her for a moment, and then slowly leaned towards her and pressed a gentle, comforting kiss to her forehead, as if he were comforting a child.

"Now," he said briskly, as she stared at him in a daze, "before you can sleep, you need to eat something and we both need to get out of these clothes. You can wrap up in one blanket, I'll use the other, and we'll both share the cot."

Heather was too exhausted to argue. She did give him a look of concern when he limped slightly walking to the shelves, but he reassured her.

"Sit," he said. "No - get out of those clothes first, and wrap yourself up, while I find us something to eat."

Heather did as Beck suggested, swaying with exhaustion, while Beck politely kept his back turned until she told him to turn around. She then gave him the same courtesy.

Later, after a cold supper eaten from cans, they laid on the cot, both wrapped loosely in their own blanket, but spooned closely together. Heather had asked that one of the lanterns be lit, and kept burning through the night. Beck agreed, and the light was comforting, even if dim. Heather was asleep within minutes.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
It had been so long since anyone had even tried to comfort or protect her.

Well, technically, it's only been a few hours since someone protected her.

And I bet she sleeps through the night for the first time in a long time.

I guess Anita probably knows she doesn't have a chance now - Beck ran after Heather, probably leaving Anita behind, and then got locked in a cellar with her overnight.
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
Well, technically, it's only been a few hours since someone protected her.

Good point - although I don't think it was very comforting. LOL :)
Nov. 5th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
She wondered frantically what Beck would do if she kissed him, here and now. When he had nowhere to run. Somehow, I think he wouldn't be running off any place any time soon if she did, and I highly doubt alone.

Heather's New Bern account reminds me of a scene from "Lady Jane" where Edward VI is speaking to Jane right after her mother has whipped her. Both Jane and Edward are about 13 or 14. He tells her about a time where he was bad, but since he was king, they couldn't punish him. So they brought in a servant boy (a "whipping boy")and beat him in front of Edward instead. Needless to say, watching the boy being beaten had a much more profound effect on him than actually being beaten himself.

That close in proximity on the cot, I'm sure he's going to be her own little thermal generator. She might not be toasty when she wakes up, but she's not going to be cold either. LOL
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Needless to say, watching the boy being beaten had a much more profound effect on him than actually being beaten himself.

And to be unable to do anything to stop or change what was happening...(shudder).

She might not be toasty when she wakes up, but she's not going to be cold either. LOL

I know I would be VERY warm when I woke up...and it would have nothing to do with the temperature in the storm cellar. ;)
Nov. 5th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
y'know, next morning is either going to be very, very nice or very, very awkward.
Nov. 6th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
"Funnel clouds," Beck said grimly, holding tight to Heather.

I hate tornadoes. I was getting shivers reading.

Beck finally cupped Heather's head and pressed her face into his neck, whispering comforting and reassuring words as she shivered and shook against him.


Can I say that Beck + Heather + Cot - Clothes = AWESOMENESS

Off to read the other chapters.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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January 2015


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