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Title: For God and Country and Heather Lisinski
Characters: Beck, Heather, OCs
Rating: PG
Chapters: 7/??
Disclaimer: No, still don't own Jericho...I'm just playing with the characters. I'll return them safe and sound.


Heather worked herself into an exhausted state that night and for the next two days as well. With Anita out of Jericho - with Beck, Heather thought viciously - the task of coordinating the salvage operations fell on Heather.

"You need to tell Gray to pay you something for all of this," Mary told her when Heather dropped in for lunch at Bailey's on the third day since Beck had left. In spite of his absence, Heather had made a promise to him, and so she made an effort to go to Bailey's and eat. Having other people around forced her to at least eat something.

Heather shrugged. "It's not like we actually have a lot of cash floating around. I get paid in supplies - just like you."

"So long as you get all the supplies you want. And need."

Heather shrugged as she nibbled at a French fry. "I get enough. I haven't had any unusual personal requirements, so I'm doing okay. I do need a variety of mechanical parts, though, but Beck keeps me well supplied there." She picked up a fry and waved it at Mary. "But if we still had cash - Gray would be paying. Trust me."

Mary laughed. "But he would never pay you what you're worth."

Heather laughed slightly. "But who could?"

"Who could what?"

Heather jumped as Jake sat down beside her, giving her his crooked grin.

"Pay me what I'm worth," Heather said, giving him a small, but warm smile as Mary dropped a glass of water in front of Jake and then left to serve a couple of ladies in one of the booths.

"You're beyond price," Jake said softly, bumping her shoulder gently with his own.

Heather gave him a startled glance. "Thanks," she said cautiously. "What do you need?"

"What makes you think I need something?" Jake asked, offended.

Heather gave him a skeptical look. "Okay," she conceded. "Then thanks for the compliment." She lifted her water in mock salute.

Jake clinked his glass against hers and they both took a drink.

"God, I miss...any beverage that isn't water," Jake sighed. "And it's too early for beer."

Heather nodded. "I hear ya," she said.

Jake took another sip of his water, and then turned towards Heather. "How have you been, Heather?"

She looked at him. "I've been fine," she said, shrugging. "Why?"

Jake sighed. "I spoke with Hawkins."

Heather froze, and then she hung her head and shook it slowly. "I'm amazed it was a secret for this long."

"Well, if anyone can keep a secret - "

Heather laughed slightly. "True."

"Why didn't you ask for my help?"

Heather shook her head, sighing. "We haven't exactly been...close, lately," she said slowly. "And you had enough on your plate. Everyone expects you to save them. I...I didn't want to add to that."

"Did you think I wouldn't help you?"

"No - but I did think you would try to kill Constantino. And if his men didn't kill you, then Beck would have for going against his orders."

"Beck wouldn't have killed me. Just tortured me a little." There was a note of bitterness in his voice.

Heather looked at him and sighed. "He apologized for that. Several times, as I recall. And he followed up with his actions to protect this town.  He saved your life a time or two, whether you accept that or not."

"It wasn't easy to work with him after I got back from Texas, Heather."

Heather gave him her clear-eyed look. "I know some of what you've done, Jake, and what Hawkins has done. If the two of you deserve forgiveness..." she trailed off.

Jake looked at her, shocked and slightly hurt. "You've changed," he said softly.

Heather's eyes filled with tears, and she angrily blinked them away. "Haven't we all?" she asked, and turned to get up from her barstool.

"Heather - wait," Jake said, putting a hand on her arm. She reacted instinctively, shaking his hand off. He put his hands up defensively, holding them away from her. He stared at her, his eyes wide and surprised.

"I'm sorry," she sighed, and sat back down on the stool beside him.

"I'm sorry, too. I'm sorry that you felt you couldn't come to me. I'm sorry that..." he blew out a breath. "I'm sorry that I haven't been a good friend to you. That I basically left you to fend for yourself."

Heather shook her head. "You were looking after the entire town, Jake. Not to mention fighting a war. Of course I was left to fend for myself. You had no obligation to do anything for me."

Jake brooded into his water glass. "Maybe. Maybe not. You were my friend, Heather. You are my friend. You risked yourself for me, and for Hawkins when you stole that paper out of Beck's office. You've worked yourself to the bone for this town. And when you needed help - "

"I went to Hawkins. Really - who better?"

Jake brooded for a moment longer, then gave her a wry smile. "Well, I can't argue with that one," he said.

"And Beck knows now. He'll take care of me."

Jake gave her a sharp look. "If he will," he said drily.

Heather sighed.

"Okay, okay," Jake said. He turned to her. "Look, all I wanted to do was to tell you I know about Constantino. And that I was sorry for leaving you alone."

She looked down, and nodded. "Okay," she said.

"And...could we start again?"

She smiled at him. "Sure," she said.

Jake held out his hand. "Hi," he said. "I'm Jake."

She gave a small laugh and took his hand. "Hi. I'm Heather."

"Nice to meet you, Heather."

She cocked her head to one side and smiled at him again, the sweet smile of the old Heather. "Nice to meet you, Jake."

He smiled at her, his eyes warm, and she could feel the old attraction tug at her. He had burst into her world as somebody bigger than life; a knight in dirty armor, carrying secrets and pain and the desire to be more than what he had been, desperately in need of forgiveness and healing. As she looked at him, she could still see the potential that their relationship had held; a love that was strong, and sweet, and unconditional, a love that would have given him the redemption he craved. They would have been a great couple, she thought wistfully, feeling the regrets for what might have been.

"Would you like to have supper with me and Emily tonight?" Jake asked, interrupting her thoughts. "Beck and company are due back today, and we're having a strategy meeting with them after supper. We'll pick you up, come here, and then head over to the town hall for the meeting."

Heather nodded. "Sounds good." She stood. "Now, I really have to get back to work."

"We'll be there around six o'clock."

"Okay. See you then."

As she left Bailey's and walked towards the sheriff's office to determine where she was needed next, she pondered her feelings for Jake and Beck.

Her feelings for Jake had been fresh, and bright, and - somehow - innocent; a beacon of beauty in a world suddenly plunged into darkness in more ways than one. If Jake hadn't run, they might have forged something truly remarkable together.

But he had run. Back to Emily and his past. And she had gone to New Bern and her future.

What she felt for Beck - what he had made her feel in that storm cellar - was...different. She recalled those moments - Beck's mouth on hers, the smooth skin of his body and the work-hardened roughness of his hands. She shivered. It had been strong, but not sweet, and definitely not innocent. It was as different from what she had felt for Jake as the sun from the moon. It was deeper - darker, somehow. Complex. Primal. But weaving through it was something so beautiful she thought it would blind her if she looked too closely.

She had thought that she would never feel anything that would even remotely compare to what she had felt for Jake. And after New Bern, she had thought she would never want anyone again. She softly touched her lips. For the first time since they had left the storm cellar, Heather acknowledged that Beck was obviously not indifferent to her - but his apology showed her that he wasn't willing to act on the attraction. In spite of that decision and in spite of her embarrassment, she couldn't - and wouldn't - be sorry she felt this way. No matter what happened.


Nov. 12th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Well, the next part should be up by the weekend if not earlier. (innocent look) ;)



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