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Title: For God and Country and Heather Lisinski
Characters: Beck, Heather, OCs
Rating: PG
Chapters: 9??
Disclaimer: No, still don't own Jericho...I'm just playing with the characters. I'll return them safe and sound.



The next day didn't allow for much introspection. The team was heading out in two days. To complicate matters, Beck and Jericho had also begun to assist other towns in the area over the last six months, trying to build alliances and a larger circle of defense in preparation for the day the truce between the ASA and Texas ended. In an effort to be efficient, Beck and his men would be stopping along the way to see if any help was needed, and to see what, if any, help could be provided to Jericho and New Bern.

Heather was running all morning, checking on the salvage operations, and meeting with Gray and a furious Anita to consolidate Jericho's needs, as well as what Jericho could trade. Heather was coolly polite to Anita, memories of the night before still vivid, her own anger still simmering below the surface.

But Jericho needed her, so she pushed her feelings aside and concentrated on what needed to be done.

Her meeting with Beck to report the results of her meeting with Gray and Anita, and to help determine the travel itinerary, was surreal to Heather. Except for a smoldering glance that made her knees goes weak when she first walked into his office, he acted like the conversation the previous night had never happened, looking remote and unapproachable in his uniform. Heather wondered if she had hallucinated the kiss in her doorway and if this was a sign that she had officially lost her mind.

"Heather?" Beck asked, raising an eyebrow.

She started and stared at him, blushing furiously. "S-sorry," she stammered.

There was a gleam of amusement in Beck's eyes, and then he mercifully ignored her blush and momentary lapse of attention.

"I just said we head out at 12:00 hours the day after tomorrow. Will that give you enough time to gather all the information we'll need?"

Heather nodded. "More than enough time. The salvage operation is progressing smoothly; much faster than I expected, actually. I've also sent the team back into the fields, with two replacements. I met with Gray and Anita this morning. By tomorrow, I'll have all the information we need."

Beck nodded. "Good." There was a pause. Beck's eyes fell to the pen he has holding, and he tapped it on his desk for a moment. "I spoke to Anita this morning," he said quietly.

Heather nodded. "I figured. She was pretty angry."

"I could tell you about it tonight," he offered, his eyes focused on the pen. "At dinner?"

Heather bit her lip, trying to not smile. He sounded almost shy, and her heart melted. She ducked her head. "Sure," she said.

Beck raised his eyes to meet hers, and she melted more at the warmth in his eyes. "Bailey's? I'll pick you up at six?" His voice was no longer shy, and she couldn't hide her smile any longer.

She ducked her head again, and nodded. "I'll be ready."

One of Beck's men came to his door, and she made her exit. She briefly wondered at the wide grin the soldier gave her, but she was too happy to wonder about it for long. She smiled back, and then left the sheriff's office and headed towards Bailey's for lunch.

"Hey! Hey, Heather!"

Heather looked behind her and saw Emily.

"Hi," Heather said, as Emily caught up to her.

"Hi, Listen, Heather," Emily started, "I thought about what you said last night. About me, and you."

Heather gave her a quizzical look.

"You were right. It's not that I gave up on you, but you're right that I haven't been around - just as a friend - for a long time. It wasn't intentional, Heather, you have to believe that. But...it's hard."

Heather nodded slowly. "It's hard for everybody."

"No, I mean it's hard to explain. I mean, we thought you were dead. And then New Bern attacked, and we lost Johnston. And then Goetz, and Bonnie, and Beck - and then Texas and the war, and then, and then, and then." Emily sighed. "We always seem to be running from one crisis to another, and you just..."

"Got left behind?" Heather asked gently.

Emily nodded miserably. "You didn't seem to need me," she said.

"I didn't need you to save me, or protect me, no," Heather agreed. "But I needed you to be friends with me."

"I'm sorry, Heather," Emily said.

Heather smiled. "It really is okay," she said. "We were, and are, always friends. I'm sorry, too. I could have tried harder."

There was a moment of silence. "Come join me for lunch," Heather invited.

"I thought you'd never ask," Emily replied with a smile.

They walked into Bailey's and Mary motioned them over to a booth.

"How'd it go last night?" Emily asked as they settled into the booth. "With Beck?"

"Oh, fine, fine," Heather said, feeling the blush start.

"Just 'fine'?" Emily asked, raising an eyebrow.

"He...apologized," Heather said, as Mary joined them, "and we're cool. All okay again."

"That's it?" Emily asked incredulously.

Heather nodded and shrugged, hoping her euphoria wasn't as obvious as it felt to her. "That's it."

Emily sat back. "Huh," she huffed.

"Don't believe her, Emily," Mary said with an evil grin. "He more than apologized."

Heather stared at her. "What? And how do you know what we're talking about?"

"Everybody's talking about it, Heather!" Mary said gleefully. "The next time Beck kisses you, make sure the door is closed!"

Heather stared at her, horrified, and then buried her face in her hands. "Oh, Beck is going to kill that poor corporal!" She raised her head, comprehension dawning. "That's why Corporal Harrison smiled at me like that when I was leaving Beck's office!"

She looked at Mary and Emily's grinning faces.

"This is news to me," Emily said. "He kissed you again?"

"Again?" Mary shrieked. "Heather! Spill!"

Heather buried her face in her hands again and groaned.

When Beck and Heather came into Bailey's that night, Mary grinned and showed them to a booth at the back of the bar. She outdid herself with the meal, and she even dug out a bottle of wine she had been personally hoarding for a special occasion. During the meal, Beck and Heather talked. They talked about their day, about what happened and what they had learned. They shared gentle gossip about the town, and even laughed a little at the discreet - and not so discreet - stares that were coming their way from the other patrons in the bar.

When they left, Mary pressed a second bottle of wine on them, with a wink and a request to Beck to put in an order for wine and anything else he could find during his tour around the trading posts.

They walked back to Heather's house, breathing in the spring night air, and chatting comfortably. But Heather could feel her anticipation building as they walked, and she tried to control her nervousness.

After a moment of silence, as they approached her door, Beck said gently, "We need to talk, Heather."

Heather digested that for a moment, and then she cocked her head and glanced at him from the corner of her eye. "About?"

He waited until she opened her door and he had followed her in. "My family."

Heather looked at him for a long moment, and then she nodded. She handed him the bottle of wine, and went into the kitchen for two glasses and the corkscrew. She met him in the livingroom, and gestured to him to settle himself on the floor with his back against the couch, where she joined him. He opened the wine, and poured them each a glass. Heather took a sip and looked at him expectantly.

He gave her a small smile. "I don't know where to start," he admitted.

Heather smiled back, and shook her head. "Wherever you need to," she replied, and reached over and took his hand.

He took a sip of wine, and began to speak.

He spoke of a man and a woman who had been together for fifteen years, shared a child they loved more than life, and had had a good marriage. He spoke of courtship, and problems, and a love that had stayed the course despite - or because of - the problems they had faced and conquered. He talked about the horror of the Attacks, and the fact that he had been in Iraq when they happened. He described how it took six weeks to get back stateside, and by then, Santa Fe had already had the riots, and most of the residents had been killed or evacuated - or fled - and no one knew where.

He spoke of a husband's loss, a father's fear, and a strong man's helplessness when his family needed him the most. He spoke of guilt, and grief, and uncertainty about the future. He spoke of how it felt to have what he had already known confirmed, and how he had had nothing left for a long time except war - and a pair of earnest blue eyes expecting him to always do the right thing.

When he finished speaking, he was hoarse, exhausted and sad, but dry-eyed, Heather's hand still holding his in a comforting grasp. Heather put her wine glass down, and scooted closer, putting her arms around him and her head on his shoulder. He gently rubbed the arm that was across his chest.

She held him in silence for long moments until Beck sighed, "I should go."

Heather nodded. "It's late, and it'll be another long day tomorrow." She pressed a warm kiss against his temple. As if she were comforting a child. "I'm sorry," she whispered in his ear, and he nodded, his head bowed.

They walked to the door, and she waited as he put on his shoes. They hugged each other tightly for a few more moments, and then she gently moved back.

"I'll see you tomorrow," she said softly.

He nodded. He stroked her cheek, and then turned and left her.

She watched him walk away, and sighed as she closed the door, her heart aching.



Nov. 19th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Simple solution - take him out of it.

I like the way you think... :)

"The next time Beck kisses you, make sure the door is closed!"


And it's a small town - you KNOW they'd be talking about it all over town... LOL
Nov. 19th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Small town gossip...and army scuttlebutt. Put those two together, and news travels faster than the speed of light.



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