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Waiting

Written for kissbingo , posted on the last day of the amnesty period(!).  I actually have at least a half-dozen stories written in rough draft, but nothing finished except this one.  :(

Author:  shirleyann66 
Title:  Waiting
Fandoms: Jericho
Kiss: emotion:  surprise
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer:   I do not own, nor am I affiliated with, Jericho, CBS, or any other PTB that may have ownership of Jericho.  No copyright infringement is intended.  This is just for fun and entertainment - and since I've been focused on ScriptFrenzy for the last month plus, this is also because I just missed these characters.  :)

------ 

They began to creep out from the bomb shelters two hours after the bombs stopped falling.

When Heather poked her head out from City Hall, it was as though no time had passed at all. The air was still thick with smoke and dust – half the town was burning she thought, dazed at the level of destruction in front of her. The war had finally arrived right on Jericho's doorstep – hell, it had shoved its way into the livingroom.

“You were supposed to wait until we came for you!”

Heather turned at Emily's voice, and saw her and some of the other Rangers, dirty and bloody, jogging up to them.

“You need to go back underground,” Emily said, her face grim.

“Did we win?” Heather asked. “Have you heard who - ?”

“We don't know,” Emily said and now there was a trace of fear lacing through her words. “Jake and Eric and some of the others headed out to join Beck's troops on the front line just before the battle got to its worst point. We haven't heard anything since. We've been too busy trying to hold the town.”

“But the fighting's stopped...”

“Yeah – but who won...who's...we just don't know. The only thing we do know is, we've held the town, but we may not be able to hold off another attack. You guys need to get back underground.”

Heather simply gave her a look. “We'll go back underground if the fighting starts again,” she said firmly. “Right now, we need to...” she glanced around at the rubble, at the Rangers' wounds, at the bodies in the street. “We need to do something.”

Hours later, working in the full dark lit only by burning buildings and the occasional, carefully placed kerosene lantern, they heard the sound of gunfire at the edge of town, gunfire that stopped as abruptly as it had begun. Everyone on Main Street stopped what they'd been doing and instinctively drew closer together. No one made any move to go to the bomb shelter; no one any longer thought there was much point in hiding.

In the darkness, with the air dense with smoke and dust, Heather found herself thinking it all looked and felt like something out of a war movie. She felt suspended, in the scene but not part of it, like she was standing, watching from a great distance, simply waiting. The silence of the people around her added to the illusion that she was far away from what had happened today; far away from what she still didn't know but feared was true with her whole heart and soul.

She stood in silence with the others, straining her eyes and her ears, but perfectly still. When she heard the sound of many people walking down the street, she felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up.

The silence was eerie, the waiting tense, the uncertainty almost unbearable.

Why were they walking, Heather wondered vaguely. Even though she still felt separated from her surroundings, she also seemed more acutely aware of everything around her. Of the acrid smell of smoke and dust, the sharp smell of blood, the earthy smell of sweat. Of Emily getting a better grip on her gun, Mimi pressing her trembling fingers to her lips, Mary and Gail clutching hands so tightly their knuckles shone white, Darcy holding her children closer, trying to give them the illusion of safety.

Heather stood alone, unmoving, arms hanging limp at her side. All she could think was that she'd never told him, never showed him, and all she could do was pray – pray the people approaching were theirs, pray that all the people they loved were coming home safely.

Everything seemed to slow as figures began to emerge from the dark and the dust and the smoke, walking into the small circles of light cast by the kerosene lanterns. Mimi was the first to break the unnatural silence and the fear when she first whispered and then shouted, “Stanley!” and took off running towards her big blonde farmboy.

The waiting crowd's paralysis broke, and others began to move forward, calling names, hugging each other, and everyone was crying, crying, crying, either in joy or grief.

Emily, Mary and Gail rushed to Jake and Eric, and the Green family huddled together, holding on to each other as tightly as possible.

Darcy and the kids were next, running to Hawkins, and for a few minutes, Robert Hawkins dropped his mask and became, not an almost superhuman Black Ops specialist, but simply an all-too-human man, thankful to hold his family in his arms.

And still Heather waited, suspended, arms hanging limp at her side, praying, hoping, begging, pleading with whatever deity might still exist to please, please, please let him be safe – let him be coming down the street – let him come home.

Finally, she saw the familiar figure she was waiting for, and she came alive. She wasn't aware of the startled looks from her friends as she ran past them, or even his stunned look as she threw herself into his arms, and pressed her lips against his.

As first kisses went, it left a lot to be desired. It was awkward due to the body armor and other equipment Beck was carrying. The kiss was both off-balance and off-centre, and tasted salty sweet because of her tears.

But once he recovered from his surprise, the second kiss was right on target – and the only surprise was how much better it was than the fantasy.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
rubberbisquit
May. 1st, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
As first kisses went, it left a lot to be desired

D'awwwww. This was fantastic. I love that the women are left defending the town and that all they have left to do is worry.

I can forget sometimes that you write Emily as a total badass. I missed her. And Heather! I missed her too and I love her and Beck and this is awesome :D
shirleyann66
May. 3rd, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Aaawww - thanks! :D I'm glad you liked it!!

And ***waves*** madly - I'm happy to "see" you around - even though I've been pretty MIA myself lately {{coughs guiltily}}.

I can forget sometimes that you write Emily as a total badass.

I think I overcompensate because I detest don't really like the character, so I try extra hard to give her some kind of purpose. :D

I can't believe how much I've missed these characters these last few weeks - maybe because we're finally getting the rest of the comics??

nativefloridian
May. 1st, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
Very sweet.

And I totally understand about the unfinished drafts...I need to go through and finish up my chapters, too.
shirleyann66
May. 3rd, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
Thanks!

And yeah, I have so many unfinished chapters for Oasis/stand alone short fics/other long fics half-way done...gah!!

I need to win the lottery. ;D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need...fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little --"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

-- Susan and Death in Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

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"And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based."

-- Lord Vetinari in Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

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They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.

-- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

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As a wizard, it was something that Ponder had only before encountered in acorns: a tiny soundless voice which said, yes, I am but a small, green, simple object - but I dream about forests.

-- Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

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In the 24th century, there will be no hunger. There will be no greed. And every child will know how to read.

-- Gene Roddenberry, as repeated by Jonathan Frakes in the documentary How William Shatner Changed the World

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We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way.

-- Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Hard Way from the album Come On, Come On

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Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want.

-- John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change from the album Continuum

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Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow."

-- Mary Anne Radmacher, as seen in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Tales to Inspire

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I never loved the soldier
Until there was a war.
Or thought about tomorrow
'til my baby hit the floor.
I only talk to God
When somebody's about to die.
I never cherished freedom
Freedom never cries.

-- Five for Fighting, Freedom Never Cries from the album Two Lights

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It may sound absurd: but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed: but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream

-- Five for Fighting, Superman (It's Not Easy) from the album American Town

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Had a dream last night took a time travellin' ride
Back to my childhood where those monsters reside
They snack on innocence and dine on self-esteem
But I like to be in touch with what makes me scream
Vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost
These are the things that terrify me the most.
No alien, psychopath or MTV host
Scares me like vampires,mummies and the Holy Ghost.

-- Jimmy Buffett, Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost from the album Fruitcakes

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"I want to believe that... the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us... as part of something greater than us - greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen, to what's speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves."

-- Fox Mulder, The X-Files from the episode The Truth, pt. 2
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